As first reported by Chris Johnston of The Athletic, the Red Wings are seemingly adding superstar free agent forward Patrick Kane.
BREAKING: Patrick Kane has decided to join the Detroit Red Wings as he returns to the NHL following offseason hip surgery, per sources.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) November 28, 2023
Kane, 35 and a long-time Chicago Blackhawk, is coming off hip resurfacing surgery, a procedure no NHL player has previously meaningfully returned from.
Between the surgery and Kane coming off his worst statistical season of his career, there are certainly questions as to what kind of player the Red Wings will be getting. The risk to Detroit is limited by this reportedly being only a one-year deal.
There are questions as to what the deal means for Detroit, too. In a relatively packed lineup, where does Kane fit in? On a line with former linemate Alex DeBrincat is the easy answer but Kane may not be ready for that role. And wherever Kane slots in, what down-lineup impact will be seen?
When will the signing be made official and, after that, when will he actually join the lineup? If Kane is still recovering, he may need more time before getting into game shape.
Less importantly, will Kane be assigned his usual #88? Daniel Sprong chose that number in honor of Alex Ovechkin but Sprong’s usual #11 is currently assigned to Zach Aston-Reese, so Sprong could take #11 with Kane getting #88.
I’m not going to dance around it: I don’t like this signing. I don’t want to root for Patrick Kane. I don’t think bringing Kane in makes the Red Wings better enough to be worth it. Maybe I’ll be wrong. Maybe he’s the missing piece. I just can’t see that right now.
Update, 10:35 AM: I want to address a post from @mackletrain.bsky.social.
Is there a reason you fail to mention that Kane knowingly covered up the sexual assault of Kyle Beach for a decade and was part of the locker room that bullied and harassed Kyle Beach for being the victim of sexual assault by his coach?
Seems like that’s more important than what number he’ll wear
Kane’s off-ice actions and inactions are well-known at this point. They are absolutely more important than what jersey number he’s going to wear. They are also more important than every goal he scores or every time he blows his defensive coverage.
This is what the Red Wings are signing on for. Every Kane accomplishment has that baggage attached to it. The Detroit organization is saying it’s worth it.
And as I said above, I can’t say it’s worth it. To repeat: I don’t want to root for Patrick Kane and I don’t like this signing.