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Detroit Red Wings

Breaking: Kane to Make Red Wings Debut Thursday vs Sharks

Kane will be seeing first NHL game action since April



Derek Lalonde, Red Wings coach
Detroit coach Derek Lalonde confirmed that Patrick Kane will be making his Red Wings debut Thursday.

The Detroit Red Wings gave Patrick Kane the day off on Wednesday.

“In talking to him, like the rest of our guys, pushing him hard, we thought it was in his best interest with the day today like most of our guys (to take it off),” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde explained.

That won’t be the case on Thursday.

“He’s going to be available for us tomorrow, will get a full morning skate tomorrow. He’ll be in the lineup.”

Kane, the former Hart, Art Ross, Calder and Conn Smythe Trophy winner will be making his much-awaited Detroit debut as the Red Wings are playing host to the San Jose Sharks (7 p.m. ET) at Little Caesars Arena. Plans are for Kane to skate on a line alongside J.T. Compher and Alex DeBrincat.

“We’ll probably start him with DeBrincat, maybe a couple different centers,” Lalonde said. “Undecided on that.”

Certainly, Kane’s familiarty and success skating as a linemate with DeBrincat in Chicago is making that a natural pairing.

“There’s a comfort level, an excitement for both of them,” Lalonde said.

Lalonde was also confirming that Kane, 34, will be on a clock in terms of his overall ice time.

“We’ll be smart in how we use him,” Lalonde said. “I don’t know if he’s ready for a regular shift. I think we’ll monitor it.

“We’ll probably have a target minute-wise. We’ll get a feel. Obviously, he feels really good, body-wise, but it’s a lot different. It’s just been difficult. He’s joining us at a time where we’ve had a slew of games. We just haven’t been able to practice as much as we’d have probably liked or had previously.”

Red Wings Teammates Excited for Kane Debut

If you’re excited by this news, well, know you’re not alone. There’s a palpable buzz about the Red Wings locker room awaiting to see how Kane looks adorned in the winged wheel jersey.

“He can still score,” goaltender Ville Husso said. “He’s a good player, one of those like superstars. As a goalie you’ve always got to be aware of him. He’s been great in practice.”

Like DeBrincat, defenseman Olli Maatta is another Red Wings player to skate previously with Kane as an NHL teammate.

“I think he is an elite player in this league,” Maatta said. “He’s shown that for many years now. When you play against him, you have to know when he’s on the ice and where he is. There’s only a couple of guys in this league like that.

Even when he’s just practicing, Kane is proving to be a show stopper.

“Everybody, the first couple of practices just stopped just to stare at him with the puck a little bit,” Maatta said. “Most of us grew up watching him play.

“I think you can see in the little while that he’s been here, that he’s just hungry to get back out there. He’s excited to be playing hockey again. I think we’re excited to see him out there. I think it’s just exciting times.