Patrick Kane linked again to Rangers ahead of 2024 NHL free agency

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

Those Patrick Kane stories and rumors about a reunion with the New York Rangers just won’t go away. Even as reports surfaced that Kane and the Detroit Red Wings are discussing a contract before the future Hall of Famer would become an unrestricted free agent July 1, others say not to discount the Rangers interest and chances to bring Kane back to Broadway.

Shortly after an NHL source told Forever Blueshirts that there’s mutual interest with the Rangers and Kane, Larry Brooks of the New York Post appeared to confirm at least the Blueshirts interest.

“Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Rangers are interested in bringing Patrick Kane (back) to Broadway,” Brooks reported Wednesday.

“Very interested.”

After playing on a one-year, $2.75 million contract with the Red Wings this past season following serious hip surgery, Kane was believed to want to land a significant multi-year contract this offseason. This after Kane proved to be both productive and healthy in 2023-24, scoring 20 goals and finishing with 47 points in 50 games. He didn’t play his first game of the season until Dec. 7.

But one would think the Rangers would prefer a shorter-term –one year? — deal with their salary cap expected to rise significantly in 2025-26.

Kane played 26 games — 19 regular season, seven playoffs — with the Rangers after they acquired him prior to the 2023 NHL trade deadline. Clearly limited by the hip issue, Kane had 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) combined.

Recently it was reported that Kane wanted to “make it right” with the Rangers and come back to play at a higher level than he was able to in 2023. Neither side has said anything publicly about a reunion, it should be noted.

Related: Why Rangers should pursue Jakob Chychrun trade

Rangers could be open to reunion with free agent Patrick Kane

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Detroit Red Wings
Brian Bradshaw Sevald-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Brian Bradshaw Sevald-USA TODAY Sports

If Kane were to return to the Rangers, he could be used to try and jolt Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider at even strength, as well as be another huge weapon on the power play. If Peter Laviolette and Co. believe that the Zibanajad and Kreider would benefit from more heft on their line, perhaps Alexis Lafreniere could move there, with Kane taking his place along with Artemi Panarin and Vincent Trocheck — a potentially explosive, if not small, forward line combination.

Kane doesn’t fit the mold of a big forward, which could’ve been a plus against the Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference Final this past spring. The 36-year-old stands 5-foot-10 and weight 177 pounds or so. But that hasn’t exactly held him back over 17 NHL seasons. He’s the second all-time leading United States-born scorer in NHL history with 1,284 points, a three-time Stanley Cup champion, a Hart Trophy winner and winner of the 2013 Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

And he flashed his trademark speed and skill this past season, a clear improvement over how he looked prior to the hip surgery.

At the right price, logic would dictate that, at worst, the Rangers would have interest in a reunion with Kane.

The clock is ticking to Monday.

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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