The No. 1 draft pick from 2007 is back in the National Hockey League. During the last season, Patrick Kane changed teams for the first time in his career when he left the Chicago Blackhawks and joined the New York Rangers. His aim was clear: he wanted to win the fourth Stanley Cup in his career. The Rangers couldn't make it, and they were eliminated after seven breath-taking games against the New Jersey Devils.
Health comes first
The Buffalo-born winger has become a free agent, but instead of joining a new organization, one of the best players of the last decade needed to solve his health problems. Kane underwent a hip operation, and his rehabilitation took place for the last few months. There were many rumors and discussions about where he could go. The Buffalo Sabres from his hometown wanted him; the Stanley Cup Finalists from the last season, the Florida Panthers, had interest; and the Blackhawks, with the next prodigy, Connor Bedard, also monitored the situation.
A highly skilled and experienced player took his time and made a decision that broke all the headlines in the hockey world. Patrick Kane is the newest member of the Detroit Red Wings. He signed a contract until the end of the ongoing season with a guaranteed salary of $2.75 million. This is not about money; Kane wants to win; he wants to enjoy hockey again and try to win another Stanley Cup.
The Red Wings are not among the major favorites, such as the Vegas Golden Knights, the Dallas Stars, the Carolina Hurricanes, the New York Rangers, or the Colorado Avalanche, but they are in the mix, which can go far in the playoffs and have a good post-season. Kane knows it, and Detroit's legendary GM, Steve Yzerman, knows it too. Also, the American will play with his fellow Chicago Blackhawks ex-colleague, Alex DeBrincat, with whom they had excellent chemistry and were extremely productive.
The legend is back
Kaner is a hockey legend, and fans are happy that he is back. Detroit is a hockey town with an incredible fan base and a talented team filled with young guns like Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond or experienced players like Dylan Larkin, David Perron, or Shayne Gostisbehere. There is a debate about whether Patrick won't break the good vibes that are in the Red Wings’ locker room, but there is no need for this kind of thinking. Proof of that is Daniel Sprong's move. A forward from the Netherlands gave Kane his trademark number, 88. And everybody who knows hockey players will confirm that giving up your number is not a small gesture.
A three-time Stanley Cup champion is welcomed in Michigan. He doesn't need to prove himself; every hockey fan and player on the planet knows what he is capable of. The main question will be whether this 37-year-old veteran will stay healthy. He is after an operation; his hips are healed for now, but the tempo of the league is probably the highest in history. To this day, there are only four NHL players who tried to come back after hip resurfacing injuries. Carl Hagelin and Ryan Kesler did not play at all; Ed Jovanovski contributed to 37 games with 5 points; and Nicklas Backstrom got 22 points in 47 NHL games. Will Patrick Kane take the Red Wings back to the playoffs, or maybe even more, to Stanley Cup glory? Time will tell. But one thing is certain: the current entertaining Detroit’s team will be even more fun-to-watch.
Featured Image Credits: NHL Trade Rumors