There was a time when the thought of Patrick Kane donning the Winged Wheel jersey of the Detroit Red Wings would have been viewed as unconscionable by loyal followers of the team.
That time is not now, however. With the 11-6-3 Red Wings looking to be playoff hopefuls at the very least, could former Hart, Art Ross and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Kane be a player to help put them over the top and into the NHL postseason for the first time since the 2015-16 campagin?
It would appear that UFA Kane, 35, is drawing nearer to making a decision as to where he’ll be taking his talents. The fact of the matter is that the Red Wings remain high on his list. He’ll be playing the remainder of the 2023-24 NHL season after returning from hip surgery.
“There’s a lot of people who seem to think that he’s if not leaning that way, he’s definitely, strongly considering Detroit,” Hockey Night In Canada insider Elliotte Friedman said Monday during 32 Thoughts, the Podcast he co-hosts with Jeff Marek. “I can’t say 100% but there’s definitely a lot of noise out there.”
Friedman talking Patrick Kane and Red Wings on TJMS: “There’s a lot of people who seem to think that he’s if not leaning that way, he’s definitely, strongly considering Detroit. I can’t say 100% but there’s definitely a lot of noise out there”
— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) November 27, 2023
Kane definitely went to the Steve Yzerman school of dealing with journalists when it comes to information leaking out of his camp. There’s been nothing concrete forthcoming about his NHL future.
Could Red Wings Be Kane’s Team?
The Florida Panthers were most recently being given consideration as the favorite on Kane’s short list.
An NHL source told Detroit Hockey Now that he still thinks it will be the Panthers who are Kane’s ultimate destination.
The attraction to the Panthers makes a lot of sense. Florida is a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. He and Panthers GM Bill Zito hold strong ties through their mutual USA Hockey connections. There’s a problem, though, in fitting Kane’s contract into Florida’s salary cap.
That won’t be an issue in Detroit. Red Wings GM Yzerman is holding plenty of room, even if Kane is wanting the one-year deal for $5 million that’s being thrown about in reports.
Certainly, there’s other teams that could still be in on the Kane sweepstakes. The Boston Bruins are the latest surprise team to be adding their name to the list. Already, there’s been speculation about the Buffalo Sabres (his hometown), the Toronto Maple Leafs (friendship with Auston Matthews) and the Dallas Stars (supposedly Kane’s preferred choice of teams).
The bottom lline is that may just be coming down to which teams can afford Kane, and that’s where the Red Wings are hoding all the aces.
More and more chatter about Patrick Kane to the Red Wings. Thinking we will know in 24-48 hours
— John Dietz (@JDietzSports) November 27, 2023
Certainly, Kane has other attractions that could lure him to the Motor City. He was effective as a linemate of Detroit forward Alex DeBrincat. They were teaming with him for both of DeBrincat’s 41-goal seasons in Chicago. And he played youth hockey here for Honeybaked, billeting at the time with then Red Wings player Pat Verbeek.
It’s far from a certainty that Kane will be coming to Detroit. At the same time, it would be foolhardy to rule it out as a possibility.