Patrick Kane’s free agency decision expected in next couple of weeks: report originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Patrick Kane is coming down to the final stretch of his free agency. He will start to narrow things down within the next week, according to NHL Insider David Pagnotta.
“We’re looking at around the next week or two as to where he ends up potentially going and which team he’s going to join,” Pagnotta said. “… Around mid-November is when he’d like to narrow down his choices and then make decisions in or around the Thanksgiving period.”
Pagnotta said Kane and his team are looking for a multi-year contract with a suitor. Now is the time when teams interested in Kane will need to start making adjustments to their cap space to inhale Kane. Teams like the New York Rangers and Colorado Avalanche will need to maneuver their respective books.
Here are the latest teams Kane’s been attached to, provided by reports from The Athletic’s Chris Johnston:
New York Rangers
It’s the team Kane allowed the Blackhawks to trade him to in the first place last season. And although a first-round playoff exit to the New Jersey Devils stings, Kane has familiarity with the Rangers.
One caveat returning to Broadway, however, is cap space. The Rangers would have to maneuver their roster to bring in Kane, who’s looking for a contending team, as well as one that can sign him long-term.
The Panthers check the competitive box, as they just competed against the Las Vegas Golden Knights for the Stanley Cup.
According to Johnston, Kane has an established relationship with Bill Zito, the team’s general manager. The two were together for the 2018 IIHF World Championship with Team USA.
Emily Kaplan previously reported the Panthers are “interested” in Kane, too.
It’s the one that’ll sting Blackhawks fans the most.
However, for Kane, joining the Red Wings means reuniting with one of his favorite linemates — Alex DeBrincat. He inked a three-year deal in Detroit this past offseason and already has nine goals this season.
The question is — does Kane believe the Red Wings are ready to compete? They haven’t been to the playoffs since the 2015-16 season, and Kane’s chasing for higher than that. They’re currently third in the Atlantic Division, poised for a playoff berth if the season ended today.
Another team familiar to Kane, the Sabres offer something no other team can — playing in his hometown.
Like the Rangers, Buffalo offers the convenience of Kane’s family being able to attend with ease. That was a tidbit mentioned last season for Kane when he was traded to New York.
The Sabres aren’t currently in the wild card. But, rare to other teams — besides the Red Wings — the Sabres have cap space. They have the third most in the NHL this season. Hence, they could sign Kane long-term, no questions asked.
And finally, the newest installment to the Patrick Kane rumor mill — the Maple Leafs.
At the top of the Eastern Conference wild card, the Leafs possess some attractive offerings. Johnston mentioned Kane has been rehabbing from his offseason hip surgery in Toronto.
Plus, according to Johnston, Auston Matthews — a fellow American hockey player — grew up a huge fan of Kaner. That duo would be lethal.
Where will Kane end up? The answer is coming within a matter of a couple of weeks.
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