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Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Roenick: A Patrick Kane trade 'doable'

ESPNChicago.com

The free-falling Chicago Blackhawks need a goaltender, and they can afford to trade All-Star Patrick Kane to get one, former Blackhawk and current NBC analyst Jeremy Roenick said Wednesday.

Chicago dropped its ninth straight game Tuesday, a 3-2 defeat to the Nashville Predators, and has sunk to sixth in the Western Conference after sitting atop the standings when the skid started Jan. 21. They are just two points ahead of eight-seed Phoenix's 63 points.

At the heart of the struggles has been the play of goalies Corey Crawford and Ray Emery. With no answer on the roster, Roenick believes the biggest need before the Feb. 27 trade deadline is to acquire a goaltender. And the price for a good one will be steep.

"Everybody knows I am a huge Patrick Kane fan, but when you're talking something of this nature, is Patrick Kane dealable? As much as I don't want to say it, they can afford to get rid of Patrick Kane," Roenick said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "They can afford to -- with the season he's having -- maybe with his off-ice reputation, maybe with the skill they have on their team -- it's doable.

"Do I like it? No, because I love Patrick Kane. He is one of the most talented and one of the best players in the NHL. But if you really want a top-end goaltender you're going to have to give up somebody."

Kane has 45 points in 57 games, including 33 assists, which is tied for 14th in the NHL. The 2012 calendar year has not been kind to the 23-year-old Kane, who has 10 points in 20 games since Jan. 2. He has just two points during the current nine-game slide.

Whatever move the Blackhawks make, Roenick hopes it doesn't include a coaching change. Joel Quenneville delivered them their first Stanley Cup in 49 years in 2010, but has had to answer questions about his job security this week. General manager Stan Bowman gave Quenneville a vote of confidence before Tuesday's loss.

"If you let Coach Q go, it would be the biggest mistake that that franchise has made since they traded me in 1996," said Roenick, who was dealt to the Phoenix Coyotes after eight seasons in Chicago. "I truly believe that Coach Quenneville is one of the best coaches in the NHL. Right now they are snakebit. They can't put the puck in the net on a consistent basis."

The Blackhawks are just three games away from the franchise record of 12 straight losses set in 1951.

For all of the frustration within the locker room, Roenick believes they will snap out of it.

"There is still plenty of time for them to turn this around, start going in the right direction," said Roenick, whose 267 goals as a Blackhawk rank seventh in franchise history. "They can solidify that playoff position and once that playoff position is solidified anything can happen. When you have a captain like Jonathan Toews on your team you're never going to be in truly bad shape. I truly believe he is, in my opinion, the best captain in all of sports. This team is struggling right now to find the breaks."

The Blackhawks' next chance to end their losing streak comes Thursday in New York when they play the Rangers.