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Five Ways Patrick Kane Can Help Red Wings

Kane was a 92-point producer as recently as the 2021-22 season



Patrick Kane, Red Wings
There are a numbers of areas in which Patrick Kane can prove beneficial to the Red Wings.

Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde was indicating on Saturday that they will be assessing the readiness of Patrick Kane to play an NHL game on Monday. If he is passing the test, then it’s likely that Kane will be making his Red Wings debut in his hometown of Buffalo against the Sabres on Tuesday.

The bottom line is that Kane’s Detroit bow will be arriving sooner rather than later.

“All of us, we’re kind of intrigued,” Detroit GM Steve Yzerman said. “Everyone wants to see how Patrick Kane’s gonna do.”

It’s unwise to expect the nearly 35-year-old Kane to be the same player that was a Hart, Art Ross and Conn Smythe Trophy winner while a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. However, should the hip resurfacing surgery he underwent earlier this year work out as well as his medical team is anticipating, perhaps the Kane of 2021-22 can be returning to the ice. That season, his final full campaign in Chicago, Kane was good for 92 points.

“He’s definitely gonna play,” Yzerman said. “How effective he’ll be remains to be seen. But based on his health and his testing, I think he has a chance to be very effective.”

Exactly how and where can Kane be helping the Red Wings as he is undergoing his integration into the Detroit lineup? Let’s count the ways.

Kane Is A Talented Finisher

The Red Wings continue to score goals. Saturday’s game in Montreal marked the 15th time this season Detroit has tallied 4+ goals. That being the case, the Wings aren’t a team blessed with an abundance of pure finishers.

Kane adds another pure scorer to their mix. Twice he’s scored 40+ goals. He’s gone beyond 30 goals in three other seasons and netted at least 20 in 10 campaigns as an NHLer.

Taking Advantage Of His Hockey Brain

Kane’s guile, sage hockey wisdom and gifted creativity make for a very dangerous package to contain if you’re on the other team.

“He’s got great hockey sense,” Yzerman said. “His game has always, he’s relied mostly on his brain. He’s got good skills, he’s a great skater but what makes him exceptional is his brain and that gives him an advantage.

“It’s much like Nick Lidstrom. He’s so smart he can play forever.”

Kane A Good Fit For Red Wings Power Play

Kane has made a career of working the flank on his off wing while his team is enjoying the man advantage. He’s accounting for 122 of his 446 goals and 398 of his 1225 points on the power play.

“The player that he has been, he’s a playmaking, creative offensive forward,” Yzerman said. “As a power-play guy predominantly playing on one of flanks on the wing mostly, probably be on his off-side, which would be the right wing, but a very creative offensive forward. That’s one thing we think we can definitely benefit from.”

Reconnecting With DeBrincat

The chemistry between Kane and Detroit forward Alex DeBrincat in Chicago is real. He drew assists on 72 of DeBrincat’s goals while the two were teaming up on the Blackhawks.

“We developed a lot of success with cross-ice passes and being able to play more of an east-west game,” Kane said. “But he’s also very tenacious and feisty on the forecheck, where he can get pucks back and make quick plays out of turned over pucks.”

He’s Been There And Done That

The Red Wings aren’t rich in players with Stanley Cup-winning experience. Or in the case of the majority of their home-grown talent, Stanley cup playing experience.

Kane has won three Cups. He was a playoff MVP and has led the postseason in scoring.

“We think we have a chance to be in the mix and with a healthy Patrick Kane that gives us a better chance,” Yzerman said of the 2024 NHL playoff picture.

Along those same lines, Kane will be able to take some of the younger Red Wings under his tutelage. There isn’t a scenario he hasn’t faced on the ice during his NHL days, so he’ll can impart plenty of wisdom. He also carries an iconic status as an NHL superstar.

“You kind of hear different things and different things come up, whether it’s players around the league who say you were their favorite player, or whatever it is,” Kane said. “I also like kind of learning from the young guys, too.

“It’s always nice to get some younger guys on the team and see how they play the game, see how they view the game as well. I’m looking forward to playing with guys like Lucas Raymond and talking to him about different things.

“It’ll be good for me to learn from the young guys, too, not just them learning from me. It kinda goes both ways.”