Patrick Kane was not himself for most of last season, which was apparent based on his lowest full-season point total (57) in his 16-year NHL career. The 34-year-old winger underwent hip resurfacing surgery in June, which reportedly has a four-to-six-month recovery period.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reported last week that the three-time Cup winner has been rehabbing in the Toronto area this summer and that it is thought that Kane will need at least another month before he is ready to return. On Wednesday, the winger’s representative CAA released a video showing him doing on and off-ice workouts and stating that the winger is readying himself for his 17th season.
— CAA Hockey (@CAAHockey) September 27, 2023
Dreger indicated that the Buffalo Sabres were among a number of clubs to have an interest in the Western New York native. The question regarding Kane’s potential destination is whether the veteran forward is interested in winning a fourth Stanley Cup or signing with a team for the most money being offered. The 34-year-old since winning his first championship with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 has made $115.5 million, so it would be surprising if his motivation would be to make an extra couple million dollars.
Clubs that would be considered contenders who have been rumored as potential destinations include the New York Rangers (where Kane was traded to last March), the Dallas Stars, and the Toronto Maple Leafs, but all three clubs are right up against the salary cap and would likely require Kane to take close to a league-minimum salary.
The Sabres are considered on the bubble to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011 and would welcome another player with a championship pedigree (Eric Johnson is the only player on the Buffalo roster with a Cup ring), but GM Kevyn Adams already has a glut at forward which will only get worse when the injured Jack Quinn returns around Christmas. A potential addition of Kane would necessitate the Sabres moving out winger Victor Olofsson, who is entering the final year of his contract, but with a $4.75 million salary, it would likely require Adams to retain up to 50% percent of his salary to make a deal possible.
While it has long been rumored that the Sabres would love to bring Kane home, it does not seem realistic based on where the club currently is and how he is looking to continue his career.