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NY Post
New York Post
21 Oct 2023

NextImg:Patrick Kane just doesn’t make sense for Rangers after his hip surgery

No, not for a minute do I believe the Rangers will re-up Patrick Kane when the winger is prepared to sign in another month or so, if his rehab from the hip resurfacing surgery the 34-year-old winger underwent on June 1 remains on pace.

First, despite everyone’s best intentions, last year’s experiment left a sour taste in a lot of folks’ mouths. I’m not at all sure why the Blueshirts would be in a rush for a reunion.

Ideally, Kane will be healthier than he was when he reported for duty on Broadway on March 2 for what became a two-month tour. That was the entire idea behind the surgery.

But health will be a question. Nicklas Backstrom was a shell of himself when he returned from hip surfacing last season. We know that years ago, Ryan Kesler was unable to continue his career after undergoing the procedure.

Three-time tennis Grand Slam champion Andy Murray represents a success story following a pair of hip surgeries that included resurfacing, but the inspirational 36-year-old from Glasgow hasn’t been a serious threat in a major since his physical ailments interrupted his career.

So exactly which Kane would the Rangers be getting, and does the hierarchy — smitten for years — really want to go through that all again if No. 88 is understandably less than at optimum ability?

Let’s stipulate that the Blueshirts would have cap space with which to add Kane, if he is willing to sign a one-year deal for, say, somewhere around $3 million.

Patrick Kane joined the Rangers last year.

If the Rangers are healthy enough so they can maintain a 22-man roster, the club could make that work by the middle of December without going into any of the extraordinary measures it took to obtain him at last year’s deadline.

You’d figure that he would take the spot of one of the club’s several $800,000 forwards.

It is unknown at this time whether the Buffalo native — who is doing his rehab work in the Toronto area — is looking for a one-year deal to re-establish his value or whether he is seeking a multiyear contract so that he doesn’t become a vagabond late in his hockey life after spending the first 16 years of his career in Chicago.

It is also unknown whether Kane believes he owes one to the Rangers, though that is certainly not a burden he bears.

Patrick Kane has yet to sign with a team for this season.
Bill Kostroun

The Rangers started the season — that is about 10 minutes old — pledging to give their youngsters the opportunity for more ice time and more responsibility.

Adding Kane would all but certainly mean that Alexis Lafreniere would lose ice time and a top-six role. One of the kids — maybe Lafreniere, maybe Kaapo Kakko — would lose power play time.

And it would almost certainly diminish the chance that the Blueshirts would promote Brennan Othmann from the AHL Wolf Pack, for whom he scored two goals in the opener before engaging his first fight on Friday with the Baby Penguins’ Taylor Fedun.

True, general manager Chris Drury and management should be wary of rushing the 20-year-old, 16th-overall selection of the 2021 draft. But the organization shouldn’t necessarily put a roadblock in his way, either.

Is Othmann going to be ready for the NHL by December after an eight- or 10-week AHL apprenticeship in his first pro season?

Maybe not. But it is surely conceivable. If No. 78’s work continues to impress, perhaps the Blueshirts might want to give him a test drive before there is a need to declare on Kane.

The Sabres make sense for Kane. If he is interested in winning a Cup, the Red Wings do not.

I have heard a linkage with the Panthers. I’m even told by a trusted party that Kane is intrigued by the Maple Leafs, but the cap situation aside, is that what Toronto needs?

More to the moral of this story, is Kane what the Rangers need? I don’t think so. The Blueshirts took their shot last year. I would be very surprised if they go back to the future.

Patrick Kane warms up prior to Game 1 of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
NHLI via Getty Images

This column will self-destruct if I am incorrect.

Whenever I hear coaches — and it’s become an epidemic out there — talking about their teams “playing fast,” I invariably think that the best way to play fast is to have a fast team.

And that “playing fast” has quickly become a league-wide euphemism for “we’re slow.”

See what I did there?

Doing his best impression of Leo Boivin, Graham Skilliter did to Tony DeAngelo in San Jose on Tuesday what Alex Georgiev wanted to do to DeAngelo in New York two years ago.

    Skilliter, by the way, is a referee.

    Which do you have as Marc Bergevin’s greatest hit as Montreal GM, the Josh Anderson seven-year contract at an AAV of $5.5 million per or the Joel Armia four-year deal worth an AAV of $3.4M per?

    Both, by the way, were signed after the flat cap went into effect.

    The Flyers have been better than expected, so have the Coyotes and Jackets, probably so have the Senators and Islanders over this first 12-day sample-size.

    But the Oilers sure have not been, neither have the Sabres, and the Sharks have a roster that must make head coach David Quinn pine for the 2018-19 Rangers.

    Finally, Connor McDavid makes his magic at warp speed no one can duplicate, but at this moment in time, Jack Hughes is the Greatest Show on Ice.

    The race for the Art Ross and the Hart has been joined.