We’re getting closer and closer to a decision from Patrick Kane on where he’s going to play this season, and it sounds like the Colorado Avalanche are in the mix.
Kane is rumored to be talking to around eight NHL teams as he decides what organization is the best fit for him. According to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, other teams around the league believe the Avalanche are one of the clubs in the mix.
The soon-to-be 35 year old winger is recovering from hip resurfacing surgery, and has been working out in the Toronto area the last few months. While it sounds like recovery has gone well, this isn’t exactly an easy surgery to come back from. Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom had the surgery and returned last season, but never quite looked like himself again, and has since stepped away from the team.
Beyond his health, there are some questions as to what type of player Kane is at this point in his career. He wasn’t quite the same player last season that he had been in previous years. Did the hip injury have a lot to do with that, or has father time started to catch up to the three-time Stanley Cup champion?
Even with a drop off in his play, he still managed to pick up 57 points in 73 games. In the postseason, he racked up six points in seven games for the New York Rangers.
Other teams rumored to be in the mix are the Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs, Dallas Stars, and Florida Panthers. It’s unsure at this point if Kane is looking for a one-year deal or some term.
Judging by my mentions on social media, a lot of people don’t exactly want him in Colorado, mostly due to what has been said about him off the ice. I definitely understand where those fans are coming from, but if you’re the front office for the Avalanche, you aren’t doing your job if you aren’t checking in with Kane’s camp.
If the Avalanche did indeed find a way to bring Kane on board, the fit would be an interesting one. Do you put him with Nathan MacKinnon, and spread out the offense by dropping Mikko Rantanen down to the second line? Where does he play on the powerplay? I’m not sure you’re taking Rantanen off the half-wall and replacing him with the current version of Kane. What would this mean for the likes of Jonathan Drouin and Tomas Tatar, who have been slow to adjust in Colorado? Could Artturi Lehkonen be out for a significant amount of time? Do they have even have the cap space to fit him in?
Kane is apparently looking to pick a team before American Thanksgiving, which is less than a week away, so we could have answers to all these questions very soon. I don’t believe the Avalanche are the favorites for his services, but it’s something to keep an eye on.
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