High-scoring free-agent winger Patrick Kane is making his list and checking it twice as he narrows his choices for a new team.
And, according to reports, the Toronto Maple Leafs are on his ‘nice’ list.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Leafs meet with Kane over Zoom about the four-time all-star potentially coming to Toronto.
Dreger reports that up to eight teams initially were involved in the pursuit of Kane, but the three-time Stanley Cup champ is expected to narrow his list in the coming days.
“Patrick Kane is mulling over the multiple options that he is considering,” Dreger said Tuesday on Insider Trading. “He and his agent, Pat Brisson, were part of several face-to-face interviews, including ones with the Toronto Maple Leafs that happened via a Zoom call, so I guess we’re dealing a bit there in semantics.
“As many as eight clubs (were) initially involved, the agent Pat Brisson will start circling back to clubs to tell them that they’re out — that hasn’t happened yet — when a final decision is made.
Dreger also said that a decision could be made soon, though the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday could delay matters.
“It was expected that it would be made early this week, but again, it’s a difficult one as Kane looks over all of these options, given that it’s U.S. Thanksgiving week. If it doesn’t happen this week, then perhaps it happens early next week.”
Earlier this month, TSN’s Chris Johnston reported that the Buffalo Sabres, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings and Florida Panthers were in the market for the former Hart Trophy winner.
Another report stated that Kane had been training Oakville as part of his rehab from off-season hip resurfacing surgery. The operation, which took place on June 1, typically has a recovery timeline of four-to-six months.
There are two big question for the Maple Leafs regarding Kane: Can they afford his services and does he fit what the team needs.
According to CapFriendly, Toronto currently has just under $1.6 million in cap space, so Kane would have to take a huge pay cut from the $6.9 million he earned in 2022-23 with the Chicago Blackhawks and Rangers to fit onto the Leafs roster.
His style of play doesn’t particularly fit what Toronto needs right now, either. Kane has been known to fill the net in his career with 446 goals and 779 assists in 1,161 career games, but doesn’t provide the sort of defensive cover at the back end which the Leafs lack.
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