Red Wings’ Patrick Kane Mulling Exit, Linked to 3 Contenders

Patrick Kane of the Detroit Red Wings will become a free agent in July 2024

Getty Patrick Kane of the Detroit Red Wings will become a free agent in July 2024

The Detroit Red Wings decided to bring a veteran presence to the clubhouse to try and clinch the postseason and signed Patrick Kane to a one-year, $2.8 million contract last November.

Ultimately, the Wings failed to make the playoffs for the eighth consecutive year even with Kane in tow, and now the veteran forward is about to enter unrestricted free agency. Kane will do so having tallied 47 points in 50 games this season, including 20 20 goals and 27 assists.

“It was a great year,” Kane told reporters during the Red Wings’ media session on April 19. “I have nothing but positive things to say about the organization. [They] give me the chance to come and play.”

After praising Detroit’s brass, Kane flipped the switch and started to talk in the past tense, catching the attention of many listing to the pending unrestricted free agent.

“It was fun to be around the group. It was fun to be a Wing and in this organization,” Kane said. “And I’ll definitely have some memories to last me a lifetime.”

Patrick Kane Could Leave Detroit as a Free Agent

Asked if he will explore the market next July, Kane said “it’s hard to say right now.”

He continued, explaining it’s hard for him to make a proper assessment of the situation right now with just a few hours elapsed since the end of the season and not making the playoffs.

“We’ll kind of see, see what happens,” Kane said. “I’m sure my agent and Steve will have those conversations and kind of go from there.”

Kane told reporters that he made his decision to sign with the Red Wings last winter based on “playing on a good team, a team where I thought I fit in well.”

“I think it will be similar going forward, too,” Kane said. “It’s like: How do I fit in with the team? Who would I play with? Things like that. I mean obviously, I think from being in Chicago for so long, and then going to New York, coming to Detroit, maybe looking for, like, a little bit more stability as far as like, term. But I think the right situation matters too.”

The keyword among all of those said by Kane might be “term,” as the veteran seems to be leaning toward signing a long-term deal, perhaps the last of his career, come July.

Kane said he could “play a long time” and “hopefully play until 40. Who knows?”

3 Offseason Landing Spots for Patrick Kane

In a column Lyle Richardson of Bleacher Report wrote on April 18, the analyst offered five teams that might make sense for Kane to sign with next summer once he enters the free-agent market.

Three of those five teams are about to start their postseason runs on either April 20 or April 21, and Kane would add even more offensive firepower to their playoff-caliber lineups next season.

With Bruins‘ winger Jake DeBrusk about to become an unrestricted free agent next July, Richardson thinks Kane could slide into Boston’s lineup smoothly if the Bruins ink him to a deal this summer.

“Kane could be a good fit as a second-line right wing with the Bruins,” Richardson thinks. “Despite his age, he put up more points this season than DeBrusk (40) in fewer games and could be more consistent than the 2015 first-rounder.”

Another contender that might have some level of interest, depending on how they deal with their pending free agents, is the Florida Panthers.

The elephant in Florida’s room is 57-goal scorer Sam Reinhart, who will be an obvious priority to re-sign before he hits the market in July. If the Panthers fail to convince Reinhart to stay, however, Florida will be hunting for a replacement.

“Kane could be an affordable short-term option for the Panthers,” Richardson wrote. “Signing him would also give (Panthers GM Bill) Zito sufficient cap room to re-sign pending UFA defenseman Brandon Montour.”

Finally, Richardson thinks the new Presidents’ Trophy winners New York Rangers could have some interest in Patrick Kane, who already played in Manhattan last year albeit with an injured hip that limited his production on the ice.

“Perhaps both sides would consider a do-over next season,” Richardson ponders. “New York could be in the market for an experienced second-line right winger if it has concerns over the development of 23-year-old winger Kaapo Kakko.

“Perhaps Kane might consider another one-year, low-cost deal for a chance to bring the Stanley Cup back to the Big Apple.”

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