Why the Rangers shouldn’t bring back Patrick Kane

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
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

For the past few days, there has been a lot of debate among analysts and the fanbase regarding the future of superstar forward Patrick Kane. As of today, Patrick Kane is still a free agent, and many have made projections about him joining the New York Rangers for the 2023/24 NHL season.

There is one side that says the Rangers should bring him back, but there is another side arguing that the Blueshirts should not re-sign him.

In fact, there are three main reasons that support the argument against bringing Kane back to Madison Square Garden.

Kane could regress further due to age and injuries

In the 2010s, Patrick Kane was undeniably one of the best players in the game and played a pivotal role in the Chicago Blackhawks’ dynasty. However, Father Time always catches up, and Kane will turn 35 years old in November. Last season, Kane struggled with the Rangers, only managing to accumulate 12 points (7 assists and 5 goals) in 19 games.

Furthermore, Kane battled through multiple injuries, which lingered throughout his time as a Blueshirt. As one ages, recovery from injuries tends to take longer. Kane is coming off a hip injury, which could have lasting effects.

Kane’s performance may continue to decline, and considering the Rangers’ win-now mentality, bringing him onto the team might do more harm than good.

Look at Blake Wheeler now, he has clearly declined further and has looked cooked through his first few performances with the team. His performance against the Nashville Predators was not a great sight either. The same could happen if New York brings back Kane to the team.

The Rangers’ cap situation

The idea of bringing in Kane sounds enticing, but here is the problem: Money always talks. The Blueshirts are tight when it comes to their salary cap. According to CapFriendly.com, the New York Rangers have around 675,084 thousand dollars.

The thing now with Patrick Kane is that there is still a ton of interest from other teams. Kane already has interests from the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings.

Both teams have more cap space with the Sabres having 8.82 million in cap space and the Red Wings having 4.44 Million in cap space. So, the Blueshirts are at an economic disadvantage, unless they want to trade an awful contract, which is likely not going to happen until trade deadline time.

The Rangers are going to have a tough time trying to outbid the other parties for Kane with the cap situation they have right now.

Kane will have to learn a new system

When Kane was with the Blueshirts, Gerard Gallant served as the head coach. However, times have changed, and the Rangers have made a coaching change parting ways with Gallant.

Peter Laviolette is now the team’s head coach. It will be challenging for Kane to quickly adapt to Laviolette’s system compared to Gallant’s, as they are completely different. Laviolette has a more aggressive offensive system. When compared to Gallant’s, it is a more defensive style of play.

While Kane brings experience, adjusting to Laviolette’s system will take time. The Rangers may not have much time to spare, given the competitive nature of the Metropolitan Division in the NHL.

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