Johnston: What I’m hearing about potential Patrick Kane landing spots

Patrick Kane is edging closer to returning to the NHL.

The specifics of his return will soon come to light as Kane and his agent, Pat Brisson, have initiated direct discussions with potential suitors for his services.

“It’s kind of like the interview period we used to have for July 1,” Brisson told Pierre LeBrun on Tuesday. “That’s what we’re starting to do here.”

Approaching his 35th birthday, Kane underwent a hip resurfacing procedure in June. With uncertainty around his future performance, last season he managed to rack up 57 points despite the issues with his hip.

Reports on his recovery this fall have been positive, and the extended break has afforded him the chance to weigh his options and make an informed decision on his next move.

One of Kane’s main objectives is to join a team capable of contending for a fourth Stanley Cup title while securing a long-term playing opportunity.

Here’s a brief look at some potential destinations for Kane based on feedback from league sources:

First, the New York Rangers. Despite the first-round playoff exit last season, indications suggest that both sides are open to the idea of reuniting.

Florida Panthers are another possibility. Aside from his history with general manager Bill Zito, the competitive roster put together by Zito would appeal to Kane.

With Detroit Red Wings, the presence of former teammate Alex DeBrincat and real cap space make it an attractive option, but the team’s readiness for contention remains a question.

Buffalo Sabres present an intriguing possibility due to Kane’s ties with key personnel within the organization and the cap space at their disposal.

Finally, Toronto Maple Leafs could offer a sentimental appeal by pairing Kane with fellow American Auston Matthews, despite their cap space limitations.

While a potential reunion with the Leafs can’t be completely ruled out, the Rangers, Panthers, and Red Wings are considered the more likely options at this time.

(Top photo: Timothy T. Ludwig / USA Today)


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