If you looked at the forward core on the Colorado Avalanche, you might think they’re completely set, but in the NHL, you should never stop trying to improve your club.
On Monday, one NHL insider linked the Avalanche to Patrick Kane, who is still recovering from off-season hip surgery. Could the Avalanche add the three-time Stanley Cup Champion? Never say never.
Here’s what ESPN’s Kevin Weekes had to say about Patrick Kane and who he thinks makes sense.
Alongside @Buccigross , here’s our News 📰 Of The Weekes segment on @espn . We talk the latest on Stamkos,Nylander, Tampa’s Vasilevskiy, Patrick Kane, and Shane Pinto. #HockeyTwitter pic.twitter.com/IZ6Dw2tTTQ
— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) October 16, 2023
If you can’t watch the video, this is what Weekes had to say…
“I heard today, from someone close to the situation, that Patrick Kane could be playing within a month. That’s how he’s healed, to this point. That’s how he’s feeling, to this point. Now, a couple factors. Number one, he wants to go to a contender. Number two, he wants to be an impact player on said contender. Number three, could he go to a team that has some LTIR in place already? Could that be Colorado? Could it be Tampa? Those are the best fits for me. Sorry for the Buffalo fans out there.”
Well, the Avalanche do fit all the criteria listed, but there are a few questions.
One, could the Avalanche afford him? By sending Riley Tufte and Justus Annunen to the AHL on Monday, the team sits with $2 million in cap space, so they could probably figure it out. At this point, coming off major surgery, Kane likely doesn’t expect a big deal. He’d be looking at a one-year, “prove it” contract, and try to get more money next summer.
Number two, is there even space for him on the roster? If Kane is ready to play in a month, the Avalanche would have to make a decision soon. The signing of Tomas Tatar last month, on paper, took away any spot from Kane, but things can always change. You also have to account for injuries in the NHL, and we all know the Avalanche seem to get hit with a lot of those over the course of a full season.
One other (big) question is – what kind of player would any team signing Kane be getting? Last year was a step back for Kane, who turns 35 next month. Did the injury play a major role in that, or has father time caught up with him? Watching him on the New York Rangers, I didn’t come away terribly impressed, but everyone knew he needed hip surgery. It’s difficult to say how much that injury impacted his on-ice performance.
There are certainly other factors to consider, like off-ice fit, but these are the big ones that came to mind for me.
We’ll likely be hearing a lot about Kane over the next month, but it was just interesting to hear Weekes link him to the Avalanche. If Colorado’s depth continues their slow start offensively, maybe it does begin to make sense as a fit, but I have a feeling quite a few contenders will be in touch with Kane for his services. If the Avalanche want him, they will have some competition. My prediction, at this moment, is that he heads elsewhere, but I have no doubt Chris MacFarland and company have been in touch with Kane’s camp.
They wouldn’t be doing their job if that wasn’t the case.