Analyst expects Leafs to pursue a 1-year deal for Patrick Kane

Mike Armenti
September 13, 2023  (1:47 PM)

As the offseason comes to a close, all eyes remain on the top remaining available UFA in Patrick Kane. We know that Kane plans to delay contract talks until training camps are under way and that he may not return until November or even December. Nevertheless, when he is ready to make his return, he'll have no shortage of teams lining up to enlist his services.

An ex-NHLer and current TSN analyst, Dave Poulin, spoke to the Kane situation recently on TSN 1050 and emphasized that once Kane passes his physical and is cleared to return to action, the Toronto Maple Leafs will be among the teams who will be looking to sign him.
Kane, 34, registered 16 goals and 45 points in 54 games with the Blackhawks in 2022-23 before being dealt to the New York Rangers before the trade deadline. While he was not quite 100%, he sill managed to add 5 goals and 12 points in 19 regular season games for the Blueshirts. Kane also registered 6 points in 7 games against the New Jersey Devils in round 1 of the playoffs.
Obviously, the biggest concern here, if the Leafs truly are interested, would be the salary cap. The Leafs are currently approximately $3M over the cap. So, how then could they fit him in? Well, the answer is pretty simple. On November 19th, Kane will turn 35 and will become eligible to sign a 35+ contract. If Kane were to sign a deal for the league minimum salary of $775K, the Leafs could include a number of performance bonuses, which could increase the value of his contract as the season goes on. All bonuses due to Kane can be paid out next season, when the cap goes up.
Kane's estimated career earnings to date sits at $115,637,195, per CapFriendly. It stands to reason that money isn't as important to him now as it would have been earlier in his career. If Kane continues to play into his late 30's, it will be because he wants to win another Stanley Cup and add to the already strong legacy that he has built for himself.
We know from previous comments made by both Kane and Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews that they would like to play together one day. Those comments were interpreted to mean that they'd have the chance to play together for Team USA in international competition. However, perhaps now they can compete alongside one another in the NHL, if Kane wishes to sign in Toronto, that is. The ball truly is in his court.
Analyst expects Leafs to pursue a 1-year deal for Patrick Kane

How many points would Patrick Kane score on a Kane-Matthews-Marner line?

60-70 points4219.8 %
70-80 points6731.6 %
90 + points3617 %
Keep dreaming - it's not happening6731.6 %
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