CHICAGO – It”s reached the point where it only feels like a matter of time before the Blackhawks trade away one of the greatest players in the history of their franchise.

As of Tuesday afternoon, a deal with the Rangers for Patrick Kane appears imminent, and according to a report from John Dietz of the Daily Herald, it’s already is done, only waiting for everything to be officially approved.

Until that finally happens, a slow, drawn-out goodbye that for many started a year ago continues.

When new general manager Kyle Davidson announced the team was rebuilding in March 2022, many assumed that Kane would be dealt in order to get future prospects or draft picks. Meanwhile, the forward would be able to use his talent on a team in contention for a Stanley Cup title.

Despite a number of moves during the 2022 NHL Draft by Davidson, Kane along with captain Jonathan Toews remained on the roster to start the new season under new head coach Luke Richardson. Each has played out their contract on a team that’s been at or near the bottom of the standings all season.

Kane hasn’t been with the Blackhawks since this past weekend when he returned to Chicago as details of a trade continued to be figured out. The forward last skated with the Blackhawks last Wednesday against the Stars in Dallas, when he scored two goals in a 4-3 win.

Of course, Kane in the end has to officially sign off on the deal thanks to the no-trade clause in the contract he signed with the Blackhawks in 2014, and it’s still not clear if that has happened.

During a news conference with reporters in Anaheim, general manager Kyle Davidson wouldn’t say if he’s waived it or not.

“It’s a difficult decision for Patrick,” said Davidson when asked about Kane’s no-trade clause. “We’re kinda in a holding pattern, so we’ll wait until there is something more formal to announce if we get there.”

It’s a difficult time for the franchise and die-hard Blackhawks fans as they say goodbye to one of their great players to ever wear the team’s sweater. The nine-time All-Star and 2016 NHL MVP has been the face of the franchise along with Toews during arguably the greatest on-ice era in Blackhawks history.

Kane aided the team’s run to nine-straight postseason appearances and three Stanley Cup titles and is one of two players left from the dynasty era.

That number will likely be down to one soon, but for now, it’s the waiting game for Kane & the Blackhawks.