Patrick Kane could want to ‘make it right’ with Rangers

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers
Danny Wild-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

It’s possible that Patrick Kane may want to complete some unfinished business with the New York Rangers.

NHL Insider Frank Seravelli said as much on the Daily Faceoff podcast with Jonny Lazarus

“He felt like when he got to New York and was hurt that he tried to do his best but that he sort of disappointed them,” Seravelli explained. “They didn’t say that but he felt like he left something on the table because he wasn’t at full strength and i think wanted a chance to try and do that over again to make it right.”

Seravelli was referring to the fact that Kane was far from 100 percent healthy when the Rangers acquired him from the Chicago Blackhawks ahead of the 2023 NHL trade deadline. Though he was a gamer, Kane did not play his usual superstar level after arriving on Broadway because of a hip injury.

Kane scored five goals and finished with 12 points in 19 regular-season games with the Rangers that season. The three-time Stanley Cup champion scored just one goal in New York’s seven-game loss to the New Jersey Devils in the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, though he was third on the team with six points.

Shortly after the Rangers were eliminated by the Devils, Kane underwent hip resurfacing surgery. Most NHL players, including Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals, were not able to return to a high-level of play after this surgery, but Kane did. After signing as a free agent with the Detroit Red Wings, the 35-year-old scored 20 goals and totaled 47 points in 50 games this past season.

“Patrick was great, wasn’t he?” Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman said during his end-of-season press conference. “He’s like a wizard with the puck — his skill, his sense, his calmness in high-pressure situations and in the danger areas.

“He was great for our team, and I think he brought a lot of what I guess they call swag.”

Related: Why Jake Guentzel is unlikely fit for Rangers in free agency

Patrick Kane may want to return to Rangers to complete unfinished business

NHL: Ottawa Senators at New York Rangers
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Seravelli and others have said that Kane had interest in rejoining the Rangers after his surgery. It’s not known whether the Rangers engaged in talks with Kane and/or his agency, or what their level of interest was in him.

A healthy Kane could have provided New York a different look in the top six in the playoffs, which ended in a six-game loss to the Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference Final. How he would’ve handled the relentless physicality of the Panthers is unknown, though his creativity and past playoff success couldn’t have hurt.

Kane spoke highly of the Red Wings and his experience in Detroit. But he’s been very quiet about his future since the Red Wings missed the playoffs and their season ended.

Knowing how Kane orchestrated his move to the Rangers ahead of the 2022 deadline, there’s a sense he might accept less money to reunite with them. Kane carried a modest $2.75 million salary cap hit with Detroit after the surgery. Now that he’s proven to be healthy, he’d command more money this summer than last on the open market.

But if he’s willing to accept less for a Broadway return — after all, Kane has made roughly $121 million in his career — it’s likely general manager Chris Drury would have some level of interest. Or perhaps that ship has completely sailed for the Rangers GM. He’s not about to say anything of note publicly on the subject.

But Kane has 471 goals and 1,284 points in 1,230 NHL games and 138 points (53 goals, 85 assists) in 143 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

That level of greatness coupled with a star seeking redemption could be an intriguing option for the Rangers, especially if the asking price is within their budget.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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