Somehow, a report by TSN Insider saying Patrick Kane was in Toronto rehabbing from off-season surgery turned into rumors that he was potentially eyeing the Maple Leafs as a landing spot for when he ultimately decides to make his NHL return and sign as an unrestricted free agent. Some will argue that simply mentioning the fact Kane was in Toronto was enough to get Leafs Nation in a stir, but Dreger never actually said that Kane and the Leafs were linked in any sort of contract talks.
You can see the tweet below:
So much buzz was generated from the tweet, that Dreger was asked to clarify it during an interview on TSN Radio. The hosts pointed out that Dreger stirred the pot by discussing the connection between Buffalo and Patrick Kane, via way of Toronto. Interestingly, while he acknowledged that while there isn’t a definitive link between Kane and the Maple Leafs, it’s a scenario that shouldn’t be dismissed outright.
Still not going so far as to say he thinks Kane and the Maple Leafs are a thing fans should watch for, Dreger elaborated on the “incidental” link when he noted, “We can’t dismiss it out of hand automatically, you say, ‘Okay, well, can you see Patrick Kane being a good fit for the Toronto Maple Leafs?’ Well, if William Nylander excels at center and becomes a fixture there, you could definitely envision an upgrade on that right side.”
The idea here is that Toronto could wind up with an extremely deep center group, but be short elite wingers to go with them. If Kane sees an opportunity to be on any one of the three lines and score in bunches, he might be open to a discount deal with the Leafs, who give him a chance to win and set him up nicely ahead of next summer’s free agency.
Dreger suggested that Toronto’s General Manager, Brad Treliving, might have already engaged in discussions with Pat Brisson, the agent who represents Patrick Kane. However, Dreger also hinted that the Buffalo Sabres might be more inclined to secure Kane’s services, considering the geographical proximity and various historical ties.
The Sabres Still Have the Edge Over the Leafs, Says Dreger
“Buffalo is one of those teams that is deeply interested in Patrick Kane,” Dreger emphasized. “There is history there with Donny Granato, with Kevyn Adams, the coach and general manager, and obviously, there is history with Patrick Kane and his family in Buffalo going back many, many years.”
Not to mention, interest from multiple parties often drives up the price tag in such scenarios, which could potentially become a stumbling block for the Toronto Maple Leafs. As neat as the idea may be, and as possible as it is that Toronto kicks tires on the idea, it’s a long shot.
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