When Patrick Kane was young, his mother Donna remembered one time he struggled to wake up for a 5:30 a.m. practice. Her motherly instincts told her that he needed sleep. She whispered that he should go back to sleep and miss the practice.
“Before I got to the (bedroom) door, ‘No, No. I’m up. I’m going. I’m going,'”Donna recalled. “… He just wasn’t going to miss it.”
Another summer, Kane spent nine consecutive weeks at hockey camps and was disappointed when his parents couldn’t find a camp for the 10th week. Kane’s passion for the sport soon morphed into an obsession to be a dominant performer.
He was 19 when he put up 72 points for the Chicago Blackhawks to earn the Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year. He was 21 when he won the Conn Smythe for leading the Blackhawks to the first of three Stanley Cups.
Watch for Patrick Kane to sign with the Detroit Red Wings. Someone who knows Kane very well said Kane told him he wanted to follow Alex DeBrincat if/when he was able. Of course there has to be mutual interest, so we'll see if Detroit extends an olive branch … https://t.co/4qk4lEASPM
— John Dietz (@JDietzSports) September 3, 2023
At 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, Kane was often outweighed by 20 or more pounds in one-on-one confrontations. But former NHL coach Ken Hitchcock used to say that he was competitive as any player in the NHL.
“He is so determined with the puck,” Hitchcock said several years ago.”You have to (defend) him with positional play and hope you don’t get burned. You are not pushing him out.”
Yzerman Kind of Player
Kane has always been the kind of player that Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman respects. Hard-nosed. Skilled. Dogged. Relentless. The Buffalo native may not be as dominant as he was during the Blackhawks’ Cup run, but he’s still a confident scorer. Over the past two seasons, he has 47 goals.
It seems unlikely that unrestricted free agent Kane will end up in Detroit, but it is plausible that Yzerman would be interested in having him. One of the Red Wings’ offseason objectives was to increase scoring. Yzerman has added scoring, but they could use more.
The Kane-to-Detroit speculation started when a veteran Chicago sportswriter reported that he was told Kane wanted to reunite with Alex DeBrincat.
This came at the same time Kane was reporting that he was feeling better than expected after his hip surgery and suggested he might be ready to play earlier than the the original “after the holidays” projection.
The pros and cons don’t add up to the Red Wings being able to land Kane. However, they don’t suggest it’s impossible either.
If Kane does want to be back with DeBrincat, that factor can’t be overlooked. Plus, he has history in Michigan. He lived in Michigan when he played for the HoneyBaked Ham team. Pat Verbeek was his billet. He liked Kane. Yzerman and Verbeek are good friends. Kane also lived in Michigan when he played for the U.S. National Team Development Program.
That doesn’t guarantee Kane is coming to Detroit.
Yzerman is an aggressive general manager and he has $5.1 million in cap space. Only four NHL teams have more cap space than Detroit. If Yzerman believes Kane can make a difference, he will at least talk to him.
However, the cons are challenging to overcome. Kane presumably wants to win another Stanley Cup. The Red Wings aren’t there yet. It seems more likely he would want to sign with a team like Florida Panthers, New York Rangers or Toronto Maple Leafs or one of the other teams with a true shot at a Cup.