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Insider reveals why a number of contending teams may not be able to sign Patrick Kane


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Mike Armenti
September 27, 2023  (2:10 PM)
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Rumours have been running rampant since the hockey world had learned that Patrick Kane had spent the bulk of his summer in Toronto and plans to be in the GTA into October as he works his way back from offseason hip surgery.

One of the larger rumours circulating recently was that the Leafs may be waiting until Patrick Kane turns 35 years old in November and so that they can sign him to a league minimum 35+ contract, chock full of performance bonuses, which would allow any bonus overages to come out of next year's salary cap dollars, with Kane playing on a $775K cap hit this season.
The idea had been discussed multiple times in recent weeks, but as TSN Hockey Insider Chris Johnston pointed out on Insider Trading on Tuesday evening, Kane does not qualify for such a deal, missing the eligibility cutoff by 5 months, and thus, will not be eligible to sign a 35+ deal until next summer.
The issue not only means that the Maple Leafs are almost entirely out of the running, but that other contending teams may have a problem fitting Kane into their cap picture as well. Now that Kane's 8-year, $84M deal is expired, he certainly won't be making $10.5M again - especially at 34 years old. However, it's not out of the realm of possibility that he could sign a deal equal to or in excess of the one recently signed by Kings star Anze Kopitar, who is a year and a half older than Kane and just signed a 2-year, $14M deal, which carries a $7M AAV.
Johnston revealed that there are certainly was around cap issues, whether it be moving someone to open up cap space or utilizing LTIR to gain some cap relief. Still, if Kane is aiming for another big payday, it may take a number of teams right out of the running. If Kane is open to the idea of signing with a non-contender, that may open up some more possibilities.
Kane may not be the player that he once was, especially coming off of major hip surgery. There's no telling how his latest surgical procedure has impacted his speed and mobility. There will also be durability concerns to consider as well. Having said that, if Kane's health issues really are behind him, even Kane at 80% is better than most players are at 100%.
POLL
SEPTEMBER 27   |   111 ANSWERS
Insider reveals why a number of contending teams may not be able to sign Patrick Kane

Will the Leafs still attempt to sign Patrick Kane to a contract, even though he's not eligible for a 35+ deal?

Yes, I think so2421.6 %
No, they won't be able to afford him6558.6 %
Leafs suck2219.8 %
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