Patrick Kane possible salary ask makes Rangers return unlikely

The New York Rangers went through cap gymnastics to acquire Patrick Kane at the trade deadline last season. Thankfully, GM Chris Drury didn’t have to give up much to get him on Broadway since Kane would only waive his full no-move clause for the bright lights of the Garden.

In exchange, the Blueshirts packaged defenseman Andy Welinski, a conditional second round pick in 2023, and a 2025 fourth round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for Kane and AHL defenseman Cooper Zech.

Kane, 34, registered 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) in 19 regular-season matches and added 6 points (1 goal, 5 assists) in 7 postseason contests for the Rangers after the trade. For the season, he amassed 57 points in 73 games mostly playing with a bad wheel.

Eventually, this led to hip resurfacing surgery in early June and a timetable of 4-6 months to recover. It also started speculation that the Rangers could possibly look to sign Kane and utilize LTIR to make the cap hit work.

“Of course I would love to be back,” Kane said in May. “If I could feel better with this team and this opportunity, I’d love that chance. I know they have young guys to sign and other priorities, but it was an amazing experience for me.”

Patrick Kane contract demands

Patrick Kane
Mar 14, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers right wing Patrick Kane (88) celebrates his goal against the Washington Capitals during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Soon after the surgery, Kane’s agent Pat Brisson told Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman that his client “wants to play for a long time.”

In a recent interview with ESPN, Brisson casually floated the potential salary ask for Kane.

“There’s no rush. This is one I’m very comfortable with. I’m very calm,” Brisson said. “You could offer me a one-year deal or a two-year deal right now at $7 million or so. I don’t even know if I want to entertain it, because it’s not what he needs. We’ll see, at the right time, how he feels, where he’s at, and then we’ll take it from there.”

ESPN

Obviously, the Rangers with almost no cap space can’t add Kane at anywhere near $7 million AAV.

At this time, they have approximately $2.3 million left in which to sign RFA Alexis Lafreniere to a bridge deal. New York also needs to leave a little room for a call-up during the season, which can be accomplished by sending down one of their current 8 defensemen on the roster per CapFriendly.

Is there a way to sign Kane? The answer is yes, but it will have to be a for a low AAV around $1 million with performance bonuses. However, based on Brisson’s comments and many interested contenders salivating at a chance to sign him, it’s all becoming very unlikely.