The New York Rangers are once again back in the loop regarding a potential Patrick Kane signing. The Blueshirts managed to pull off a blockbuster trade for the veteran star forward at least season’s deadline, but he’s now yet to sign with any team at the end of October.
The Rangers are once again on the list of potential landing spots, but there is really no reason for the Blueshirts to be involved.
Patrick Kane is nearing a return to the ice
It was revealed that Kane was dealing with an injury when the Rangers acquired him, and he underwent surgery over the summer to bring him back to full health. Although he’s claimed that he’s ready to hit the ice again, Kane claims he is waiting until at least November to see how the season is looking before choosing where his next home will be.
“Kane, 34, is not in a rush; the priority is to ensure he’s 110% healthy. Hampered by the hip, Kane played last season basically on one leg. Kane also wants the right fit — entering the right environment, on a team with serious chances to win.”via Emily Kaplan of ESPN
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The Rangers no longer have a place to fit Kane on the roster
Last season, the Rangers were in need of a highly skilled right winger to play in the top six. Kane filled that role for a few months, but since the 2023-24 year began, it has since been filled. Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafreniere have finally earned the top six roles they deserve, and both are finding success on the top two lines.
If Kane were to re-sign with the Rangers, he would likely desire a top-six role. It’s possible he could fit on the third line and replace Blake Wheeler, but that option doesn’t make much sense.
The Rangers’ third line is very physical and gritty and doesn’t match with a crafty point scorer. Kane would need to be in the top six to fit in with the Blueshirts, and there is simply no room for him there.
The Rangers should learn from their past mistakes and avoid another signing
Many will argue that Kane’s first season with the Rangers can’t be properly judged because of his injury. He was playing while hurt, and the Blueshirts never got to see his full potential. But at the same time, there’s no guarantee that Kane would be any different this year.
A Kane signing would come at a hefty price, with some players likely having to be moved to clear the cap space necessary. It sounds like another surgical cap movement that is not worth the risk, especially when the Rangers are already finding success without Kane. A Kane signing would be a very high-risk, high-reward deal, but it’s better to be safe than sorry in this possible second attempt.