Patrick Kane could be a mid-season option for the Oilers
By Cam Lewis6 months ago
Patrick Kane is an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career but his name has barely popped up in the rumour mill.
Last season, Kane was approaching the end of the eight-year, $84 million contract that he signed with the Chicago Blackhawks in June of 2014 and his no-movement clause allowed him to essentially pick where he went.
The Hawks wound up trading Kane to the New York Rangers. He scored 12 points over 19 games and added six points in seven playoff games as the Rangers bowed out in the first round to the New Jersey Devils.
At 34 years of age, nobody was expecting Hart Trophy-calibre Kane on the Rangers, but it was clear that he was a step behind where he was in 2021-22 when he scored 92 points on an awful Blackhawks squad. A few weeks after New York got knocked out of the playoffs, Kane underwent a hip operation that’ll keep him out of action for four to six months.
Rather than inking a deal with a team this summer, Kane is going to take his time and see what situations present themselves during the season. The expectation is that Kane will be ready to go in December and he’ll look to join a team that gives him the best chance of winning the Stanley Cup.
“I know I’m turning 35 next [season], but it’s not like I feel old. I still feel pretty young,” Kane said earlier this offseason. “I feel like the passion is still there. I still know that I can be a top player if my focus is solely on hockey instead of how I feel.”
It’s obviously impossible to say in the middle of August which teams might be suitors for Kane in December, but Arthur Staple, a Rangers reporter with The Athletic, speculated that Edmonton could be in the mix.
“In a best-case scenario, the Rangers don’t need Kane — they will have adopted Laviolette’s system quickly, the pieces added in free agency will fall into place and all will be well by November.Things don’t usually work like that, though. And if Chris Drury decides, as he did at the deadline this past season, that the lineup is crying out for Kane, he’ll move mountains to get it done, even though moving mountains in March didn’t really work out.And then Kane has to choose them. He might choose Edmonton or Colorado, or maybe Buffalo, depending on who can squeeze a modest cap hit in and which team Kane feels has the best chance to win. I have heard he really enjoyed his brief Rangers stint and would love a shot to show what he can do there when healthy, which he definitely was not in the spring.”
The Oilers had interest in Kane last summer as he was heading into the final season of his contract but his $10.5 million cap hit made such an addition virtually impossible. Come trade deadline time, Edmonton’s top need was on the blueline, so general manager Ken Holland added Mattias Eklhom rather than circling back to Kane.
The situation is entirely different now as Kane could join a cap-strapped team on a league-minimum contract.
The Oilers subtracted a few forwards this off-season, as Nick Bjugstad left the team in free agency and Kailer Yamamoto and Klim Kostin were traded away as salary cap casualties. If Connor Brown struggles in his return from an ACL injury or young forwards Dylan Holloway and Raphael Lavoie can’t break through and fill those holes, Kane would be an interesting veteran option to give the Oilers some depth on the wing.
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