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Patrick Kane: the Panthers are extremely aggressive about signing him

It’s been just over a month since the 2023-24 NHL season began, and yet Patrick Kane is still as free as a bird. This isn’t necessarily a surprise in the sense that he wanted to wait until he’d recovered from hip surgery before signing, but he’s still a big name who doesn’t belong to any team.

The question is whether his hip will hold up when he returns to action. Remember that he underwent the same operation as Nicklas Backstrom… who didn’t exactly break everything after his return to action (and whose career unfortunately seems to be over).

The Sabres (he’s a local boy) and the Rangers (for whom he played last year) are among the teams rumoured to be interested, but the Panthers are also looking into the matter…

And according to Elliotte Friedman, it looks like the Panthers are extremely aggressive about signing him.

In fact, he explains that Bill Zito, who is the club’s GM, is pushing very hard to get Kane. Remember that Zito was the GM of the American team at the 2018 World Championship, a team whose captain was none other than Kane. The two know each other and have a bond.

The Panthers don’t even have $100,000 free under the salary cap, but obviously Zito seems confident he can lure him to town. It’ll be tough to do otherwise than with a one-year contract at a low salary, especially since Kane can’t sign a 35+ contract (for players 35 and over and includes performance bonuses) since he wasn’t 35 on June 30.In fact, he’ll be 35 this Sunday.

One wonders where Kane would fit in with the Panthers, who rely on Paul Maurice’s aggressive check-forward system. Kane, who has never been the most intense forward and is coming back from hip surgery, could really land in Florida as a pure power-play specialist.

Still according to Friedman, on the other hand, it would appear that the wait is drawing to a close for Kane. The forward will start talking to teams this week, and we can expect everything to fall into place shortly thereafter.

Will he be back before the end of 2023? It’s obviously not totally impossible.

We’ll see whether Kane makes his return to the game in a Panthers uniform, but clearly, the club’s GM is doing everything in his power to lure him to Florida. I wonder if it would be a poisoned chalice, but we’ll see if Zito can convince Kane to come to Sunrise.

In bursts

– Considering that he criticized Vancouver fans when he first joined the Canucks, I don’t think it’s going to be all rosy.

– Offensive defensemen are all well and good, but we’re going to need some big offensive players one day.

– William Nylander is enjoying the Maple Leafs’ visit to his native Sweden.


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