Patrick Kane speaking with teams, are the Rangers one of them?
As one of the game’s premier hockey players, Patrick Kane, inches closer to his return from hip resurfacing surgery, there isn’t a day that goes by without someone talking about where he’ll eventually sign. Although there are some apparent front runners for his services, including the New York Rangers, it does appear, according to Chris Johnston at The Atheltic that there are only a few contenders to ink the three-time Stanley Cup champion.
Interestingly, Kane is attempting to be the third player in NHL history and the second skater this year to play again after hip resurfacing, even though the odds are not in his favor. Nicklas Backström (Washington Capitals) recently returned to the NHL after undergoing the procedure in June 2022. However, he would only skate in eight games before announcing he was leaving the team for the remainder of the season. Although no one says it, Backström’s NHL career is over.
Meanwhile, a deeper look into NHL players who have had hip resurfacing surgery shows that Ed Jovanovski is the first recorded player who underwent the procedure in 2013. Unfortunately, he played only 37 games after his return, retiring at age 37 after his contract was bought out, the same age Kane will attempt to make his comeback.
Moreover, Ryan Kesler was the second player to undergo surgery, and he never skated again after his rehabilitation in 2019. Additionally, Carl Hagelin recently announced his retirement from professional hockey due to ongoing complications from an eye injury. Still, he was another prominent hockey player who underwent hip resurfacing in February 2023. Although we will never know how his recovery from the surgery would have impacted his career, the odds wouldn’t have been in his favor, which leads us to Kane and his tough road ahead.
Latest Patrick Kane Rumors
After a Hall of Fame career with the Chicago Blackhawks, where he tallied 1,225 points and won two league MVP awards, he left the Windy City for Broadway in February 2023. Statistically, Kane scored at a 1.05 points-per-game (PG) pace in Chicago before collecting just 12 points in 19 games (0.63 PG) in New York. Of course, he wasn’t the only significant acquisition, since the Rangers also brought in Vladimir Tarasenko at the deadline. Still, the All-Star lineup failed to make it out of the first round, losing in Game 7 to the New Jersey Devils.
Surprisingly, New York continues to be a landing spot for Kane when he returns, since it appears the two sides have unfinished business together. However, the Rangers currently sit atop the Metropolitan Division and have built a comfortable five-point lead without Kane chipping in some points here and there. More importantly, the team recently found themselves in a boatload of injury trouble, opening up over $7 million in cap space that has many speculating the door is open for a reunion with the returning superstar. It should also be noted that once Adam Fox comes off LTIR, that room is gone and the Rangers will have cap issues that could lead to a trading of a roster player.
Ultimately, many fans would love to bring Kane back to the Garden. Whether he scores a lot of points, kicks in some goals, or sets up his teammates every few games, everyone would love to have the future Hall of Famer in the lineup because he’s a veteran with invaluable experience. However, with young players like Kappo Kakko and Alexis Lafreniere finding their game under new head coach Peter Laviolette, what happens to the team when Adam Fox and Filip Chytil return? Plus, there isn’t a lot of money and playing time to go around?
On the latest episode of the Forever Blueshirts Show, NY Post reporter Mollie Walker noted the improbability of a reunion and the lack of any buzz coming from within the organization about it.
“Would the Rangers want to add a guy like Patrick Kane,” she questioned. “The name, sure. The uncertainty of a player coming off major surgery? I don’t know that’s a risk the Rangers want to take.”
Which Other NHL Teams Are Interested in Kane?
Unsurprisingly, the Buffalo Sabres are interested in bringing Kane home to the city where he was born and raised. Considering the Sabres are currently one of the youngest teams in the league, he would become one of the oldest skaters in the lineup, but brings along a resume that no one else in the organization currently has.
Meanwhile, many rumors have circulated that Kane would love to play with former teammate Alex DeBrincat, who is terrorizing goalies in a Detroit Red Wings jersey. Even though the organization has over $5 million in cap space, they don’t appear to be in the running for Kane’s services.
Notably, one of the teams no longer mentioned in recent Kane discussions is the Dallas Stars, who actively tried to acquire the former Conn Smythe Trophy winner at last year’s deadline. Ultimately, as one of the top teams in the Western Conference, they lost their spot on the list to the Florida Panthers.
As last year’s Cinderella team, who advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Panthers got banged up and are right back where they ended the previous regular season, fighting for a wild card spot after one month of action. Considering that Kane is one of the greatest American-born players, it would be interesting to see if he wants to play with one of this generation’s best, Matthew Tkachuk, in South Florida.
Will Acquiring Kane Be Worth the Risk?
Everyone knows that Kane will need time to adjust to a new team, new linemates, and a new routine that will protect his surgically repaired hip. Additionally, he won’t cash in on a multi-million dollar deal, most likely opting for a contract with bonus payments for reaching various milestones.
However, as everyone rushes to the phone to speak with his agent, they must exercise caution as players have no successful history of overcoming this significant medical procedure. Of course, every patient is different, but in this case, the odds of beginning a new life in pro hockey are not in Kane’s favor, so this upcoming agreement has the potential to be one of the most prominent buyer-beware cases in NHL history.