It sounds like that hip is on the mend. Patrick Kane said on Thursday that he’s been on the ice plenty and is looking to get back into a playing rotation at some point.
Via Sportsnet, Kane admitted he could come back earlier than expected and that should delight the handful of teams seeking his services. But if anyone wants to see him tip his hand as to where he’s leaning, he didn’t bite. Beyond that, he’s open to teams coming at him with an offer.
In short, Kane won’t be seeking anyone out or rushing into a decision.
But he’s definitely available for the right offer.
Blackhawks Out, But Contenders Seem In for Kane
There won’t be any reunion with the Blackhawks, though, as that door was slammed shut several months ago. Perhaps if Chicago can turn into a contender quickly, Kane signs a one-year deal in a few seasons if it fits into Kyle Davidson’s plans.
But it will be those closer to contention that will have the best chance of landing him. The New York Rangers seem the likeliest option, with familiarity and a new coach who could push the Blueshirts further in an extremely competitive Eastern Conference–not to mention a tough division, too.
What about the Buffalo Sabres, Kane’s hometown team. They’re ready to rise in the league, stocked with young talent that has finally risen out of the doldrums of a never ending rebuild. They also have plenty of cap space to pull it off.
Other intriguing options: the Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights, and Carolina Hurricanes. Though the first two would have to get creative with their cap space, Carolina could eke him in.
How about a darkhorse candidate? The New Jersey Devils. They beat his Rangers in the first round only to be bounced quickly in the second round.
The Rangers seem like the likeliest option, but it depends more on how much he wants along with how it fits into his timeline. Patrick Kane is in the driver’s seat. Who will offer him the best deal that could give him a real shot at his fourth Stanley Cup?