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Red Wings Keeping Patrick Kane on One-Year Deal



Patrick Kane, Detroit Red Wings

This story was updated Sunday night

Some Detroit Red Wings fans had given up on the idea that their team can re-sign Patrick Kane. But GM Steve Yzerman never did.

In fact, following the conclusion of Saturday’s NHL entry draft, Yzerman was describing the signing of Kane as a priority.

Late Sunday, on the eve of the start of the NHL’s July 1 unrestricted free agent period, the Red Wings and Kane were reaching an agreement on a new one-year contract for $4 million, plus the potential for $2.5 million in bonuses.  The $4 million base salary will help the Red Wings because it leaves them with enough cap space to maneuver.

“We’d love to get Patrick Kane signed. That’s a priority,” Yzerman had said on the last day of the NHL draft Saturday in Las Vegas.

The fact that Yzerman was willing to mention Kane suggested a hint of optimism. All day Sunday, there was momentum building, suggesting a Kane signing was imminent.

Then it became official. It’s a one-year deal with a reported AAV of $4 million. With bonus clauses, it could climb to $6.5 million.

“Pumped to be back for another one,” Kane posted on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter. “Big year ahead.”

When speaking of Kane, Yzerman was answering a question about whether the Red Wings need to land another top-six forward from the unrestricted free agents that will be available starting Monday.  Steven Stamkos (40 goals in 2023-24) and Jonathan Marchessault (42 goals) are among the UFAs who may still interest the Red Wings.

“I would say on wingers, I don’t anticipate us, you never really know, but we got Alex DeBrincat, a sizable commitment as far as salary,” Yzerman said. “We’re looking to do something long-term with Lucas (Raymond). If we can’t we’ll do something short-term with him. But our first priority is long term. So we’re going to have a lot of money tied up with two wingers.

“Can we go long-term, a lot of money on another winger? It’s something to consider, depends on who it is, depends on a lot of things. It’s not just do we like the player, do we like him at the dollar amount. So whoever it is, if we like him at X dollars and we can fit it in we’ll try to do that.”

Cap Space Limits Red Wings

The Red Wings show $32.8 million in cap space, but re-signing Moritz Seider and Raymond could eat up $17 million of that space. RFA Joe Veleno, arbitration eligible, could get $2 million, and Jonatan Berggren will get $775,000. Yzerman only has about $12 million to work with in the free agent market.

Berggren, Veleno, Raymond and Seider will all given qualifying offers Sunday, assuring that the Red Wings will be retaining their rights beyond July 1.

Minor-league defenseman Jared McIsaac, a 2018 second-round pick, wasn’t qualified and will become an UFA on Sunday.

Among his other UFAs, Yzerman has interest in re-signing David Perron as well, but other factors could stand in the way. As Yzerman said over the weekend, putting this jigsaw puzzle together is tricky.

The X factor of the Red Wings’ potential free-agent spending is a possible trade for New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba. He makes $8 million for the next two seasons, although the Rangers likely will retain some of his salary. However, if they make the trade the Red Wings’ salary cap will go up significantly.

Also, the Red Wings still may move defenseman Justin Holl’s $3.4 million contract (two more years).

Even though free agency starts tomorrow, the Detroit club will also be starting its development camp at Little Caesars Arena.