The case for Patrick Kane: Why Rangers should take a flier on future Hall-of-Famer’s services post 2023 surgery

Patrick Kane Rangers
New York Rangers’ Patrick Kane (88) celebrates his goal during the first period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

2022 wasn’t the best of seasons for former Hart trophy winner Patrick Kane. He dealt with a hip injury that kept him hobbled for most of the season between 73 games with the New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks. 

Kane’s entrance to New York was not as successful as many fans and analysts had anticipated. He tallied just 12 points in 19 games played with the Blueshirts, and his ineffectiveness was a big reason why the Rangers lost in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

With that, and the fact that he’s recovering from hip surgery at the age of 35 when the season starts, it should be no surprise why teams have remained patient to sign the former Stanley Cup winner. 

The rest of the NHL may be hesitant to sign Kane, but his mixed results from last season could be a perfect opportunity for the Rangers to try and kick the tires one more time on the right winger. New York has just over $2 million in cap space with an incoming deal expected for restricted free agent Alexis Lafreniere. Once that deal is agreed upon, the Rangers will have less than $1 million to try and add to their overall team. 

At least for now. 

There are plenty of ways for the Rangers to make up cap space to bring in a veteran like Kane. Trading away Barclay Goodrow would save over $3 million and could be plenty of space needed for the team to make the one move that could put them back in contention with the Metropolitan-leading Carolina Hurricanes. Even deals for Ryan Lindgren, while ill-advised based on the way the Rangers are constructed, could be in the mix. 

Kane’s injury also makes a favorable deal for the team possible as well. The former Blackhawk is going to miss the first few months of the NHL season as he recovers from his surgery, and that should allow for a discounted price from any team looking for his services. 

As they are built right now, New York has plenty of pieces necessary to keep them in contention for a Stanley Cup Title run. Compared to some of the other top teams in their conference though, it’s certainly fair to see how the team could use an additional playmaker on the roster. 

It’s also fair to point out that while Kane’s first run with the Blueshirts did not net super positive results, having months to acclimate himself to the team could offer much better results going into the new season. 

Whatever the team ends up choosing, whether they decide to keep Goodrow, or try to bring back Kane or Vladimir Tarasenko, the Rangers seem prepared and ready for another go at a deep playoff run. 

Time will only tell if it ends up working out though. 

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