The buzz around the Detroit Red Wings locker room on Tuesday afternoon was palpable.
Signing a future Hall of Famer tends to create that level of anticipation.
“It’s exciting, it’s really exciting,” was how Detroit forward David Perron was responding to the news that Patrick Kane was signing a one-year contract with the club. In essence, Perron was echoing the sentiments of every Red Wings player, fan and even casual follower.
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) November 28, 2023
The real news here on this momentous day? Hockeytown is back, folks.
Kane was a UFA. He could’ve chosen any NHL team. His choice was the Red Wings.
Think about that. A future Hall of Famer, a soon to be 35-year-old player who’s achieved everything there is to achieve in the NHL, someone who’s only drive going forward is the chance to win some more, saw that opportunity knocking for him first and foremost in Detroit. With a team that hasn’t been the playoffs since 2016.
“It proves a little bit of what he sees in himself and also in what we’re doing,” Perron said. “We should be proud so far of the start that we’ve had. I think the beauty of it is we can still be a lot better.
“I feel like in the room we have a lot of ways we can improve.”
Kane Brings World-Class Presence To Red Wings Lineup
One of those ways is adding a player of Kane’s caliber to the roster. He’s a Hart Trophy winner, has led the NHL in scoring, won three Stanley Cups and a Conn Smythe Trophy, even tallying a Cup-winning goal in overtime.
“He’s a presence,” Perron said. “When you play names like that, you look at the lineup and you gotta be aware of those guys when they’re on the ice.
“It’s all that and more.”
Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde was afforded the opportunity to communicate with Kane via Zoom call while Detroit was playing in Sweden. The coach came away impressed with what Kane brings to the table.
"You're talking about a world-class, Hall of Fame player."
John Tavares and Jake McCabe speak on Patrick Kane signing with the Red Wings. pic.twitter.com/KhtumTUPN0
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 28, 2023
“I enjoyed talking to Pat because he was smart,” Lalonde said. “Obviously, a brilliant hockey mind. It was an easy conversation.
“You can tell he’s watched us a lot. He wanted to know about our structure, our systems. Impressed with our neutral zone. What are you doing in the neutral zone? What are you doing in your D zone?”
Lalonde was left most impressed by the fact that Kane wanted to know what the Red Wings thought he could add to their scheme.
“I think just the understanding of what kind of player he is and how we thought he could fit in,” Lalonde said.