When Patrick Kane was asked if he could envision a scenario where there was any chance he might be able to return to the New York Rangers, the 35-year-old forward responded, “I would love to be back. If I can feel better, with this team and this opportunity, I’d love that chance.” What Kane was talking about are the lingering injury issues that allow him to play, but until dealt with, virtually guarantee that any team who signs him as a UFA will be signing someone who isn’t 100%.
Friedman talked about those injury issues during his latest 32 Thoughts Podcast and noted that the Rangers would like Kane back, but their hesitation is the uncertainty of his health. While Kane rightfully pointed out that the Rangers have priorities that may be younger and healthier than he is, he said he feels he’s still got the passion, his head is in the right place and he feels like his focus is still on being a good player in the league. In other words, he’ll likely use the offseason to get as healthy as he can, he’ll come back to the Rangers about a contract when they’ve looked after other business and if there isn’t a spot for him, he’ll probably test the free agent waters to see if anyone else bites.
Kane said he didn’t have a bad thing to say about the team or the organization and called it an amazing experience, even though it might not have ended the way everyone on that Rangers team might have hoped. “I know I turn 35 next year, but it’s not like I feel old.”
Will Kane Take a Pay Cut?
Assuming he gets back to full strength, there will be teams that show interest in Kane. There will be plenty of them if he’s willing to sign a team-friendly deal to play with a contender. The advantage the Rangers have is that he’s now felt what it’s like to be on that team. Unless the offseason is a tumultuous one for the franchise, there’s no reason to think they won’t be in the playoff conversation, even if they aren’t Stanley Cup favorites.
How low is Kane willing to go to make a contract work in New York? And, while he’s considering that, how many other teams give his agent a call and ask if he’d like to try a new situation for a year?
When asked about the possibility of returning to the Blackhawks, he responded, “They’re rebuilding, so that’s never crossed my mind to be honest with you”
Next: Tarasenko to Consider Rangers as Free Agent, Insider Talks Reality
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