Rangers: Could a Patrick Kane reunion solve the first-line issues?

Apr 5, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Red Wings right wing Patrick Kane (88) celebrates center Dylan Larkin (not pictured) goal during the second period against the New York Rangers at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers are expected to be aggressive this offseason in their search for an upgrade on the first line. Among the free agents who will be available this offseason stands out as a familiar face to consider.

Veteran winger Patrick Kane will be a free agent once again this offseason, which could spark a potential reunion between him and the Blueshirts this summer.

The Rangers did not get the desired results from their 2022 Patrick Kane trade

New York Rangers right wing Patrick Kane (88) skates against the New Jersey Devils during the second period in game six of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden

The Patrick Kane Experience didn’t necessarily go as planned the last time around. The Rangers brought the former Blackhawks legend to Broadway at the trade deadline last season in an effort to give the team enough firepower for a deep postseason run.

However, Kane was playing injured at the time, and as a result, did not reach those expectations. He totaled only 12 points (five goals and seven assists) in 19 regular season games. In the postseason, Kane got off to a hot start, totaling six points in the first four games of the Rangers’ first-round matchup with the New Jersey Devils.

But Kane and his Blueshirts teammates cooled off after Game 4. He did not record a single point in the team’s final three games of the series. The Rangers were eliminated in Game 7. Kane then signed with the Detroit Red Wings in the offseason.

Could a Rangers-Kane reunion be on the table after a solid bounce-back season in Detroit?

Detroit Red Wings right wing Patrick Kane (88) (New York Rangers)
Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

While he wasn’t his MVP-level Blackhawks self, Kane still enjoyed a solid season with Detroit. He totaled 47 points (20 goals and 27 assists) in 50 games played. Now 35 years old, Kane still being nearly a point-per-game player, and possessing his championship pedigree will make him one of the most sought-after free agents in the NHL this offseason.

Kane proved in 2023 that he’s still a world-class forward when healthy despite his increased age. And if there’s one thing that Rangers learned this season, it’s that they need more postseason performers in their lineup.

When looking for postseason performers, it’s hard to find someone who fits the bill better than Kane, a three-time Stanley Cup champion. Kane’s familiarity with the organization could make New York an intriguing destination for him this offseason.

A reunion between Kane and the Blueshirts could be exactly what New York needs to improve their first line and increase their chances of hoisting the Cup next postseason. However, the disappointing results from the last go-around might prompt Rangers GM Chris Drury to go in a different direction this offseason.

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