Could Patrick Kane possibly return to the Chicago Blackhawks?

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Kane received an adoring ovation when he returned to Chicago during his first game back at the United Center. It was with him wearing a Detroit Red Wings sweater.

You could just imagine the type of reception he will get if he plays next year wearing his No. 88 with the Chicago Blackhawks logo on it.

The Athletic's Blackhawks beat reporter Scott Powers had in his recent mailbag the team might have some internal discussions about bringing their greatest player ever.

General manager Kyle Davidson made it clear last offseason that the Blackhawks were not going to entertain bringing back Kaner. He wanted to give Connor Bedard the chance to develop free of a big shadow much like Kane was afforded.

Things have changed between last offseason and this. Bedard has proven to be capable of being a phenom much like Kane was all those years ago.

Additionally, Davidson wants to raise the standards for next season. One way to raise the stakes is signing a free agent who scored 20 goals and 27 assists in 50 games for the Red Wings this season. It would be great to see the playmaking ability of Bedard and Kane on the same line.

It was something every fan dreamed of last year. Now there is possible opening for that to become a reality.

The Hawks need help offensively and the franchise can do no worse than bringing back one of the greatest offensive players in team history. Kane ranks third all-time in goals scored for the Hawks and second all-time in assists.

There are a couple of things that can prevent a reunion.

The first reason is if the Hawks bring Kane back, it is bringing back a link to the 2010 team. The Hawks can finally say there are no connections in the franchise to the Brad Aldrich scandal. Bringing back Kane brings that link back and the Hawks continue to battle off-ice allegations not related to that situation but to a separate allegation. Adding Kane to the roster still will serve as a reminder to the Hawks having a tie to an ugly part of their past.

Second, the Blackhawks want to add veteran forwards, but on short-term deals. Kane might seek a longer deal. Kane will be 36 in November, and this might be his last chance to get a good free-agent deal.

He proved he is still as productive as ever. Kane might be able to leverage an emerging team to give him more years and dollars. Do not think for a second the Buffalo Sabres will pay up for a public relations win. The Sabres finished two games over .500 and have plenty of cap space to bring their favored son home.

Third, the Blackhawks could decide to stick with the plan and let Bedard continue to develop without the shadow of Kane. While it would be great for Bedard to continue to grow into a Hall of Fame player with the help of a sure-fire, first-ballot Hall of Famer. Bedard already has a good mentor in Nick Foligno.

Finally, Kane still wants to chase another Stanley Cup and the Blackhawks are still a few years away. At least the Red Wings are much closer to the playoffs than the Hawks. Still, it is nice for the Hawks to consider the idea of bringing back the greatest player in franchise history.