Thus far I've avoided any article that references the prior dynasty era of Blackhawks. I can not ignore the "smoke" and "noise" that is out there any longer though. From countless articles, local media coverage, and national media podcasts (including 32 Thoughts the Podcast) it seems that Patrick Kane may be entertaining some opportunities.
The questions right now are many. Despite some workout footage, testimonials by trainers, and rumors that he is healthy and ready to go the truth is that no one has seen him in game action since his procedure. The hip resurfacing procedure had a prognosis of recovery in the 4-6 month range which would put him right on schedule with today.
About 6 weeks ago, Kane seemed ahead of said schedule and actually admitted to being on the ice around "20 times" already which was a surprising (or not surprising) tidbit to his roadmap back to competition. So with his health reportedly back to game shape, where will he sign?
First and foremost, Patrick Kane is a historian of hockey. Having covered him for nearly 18 years now (to his draft -1) I know that legacy matters to him. When he decided that the New York Rangers were going to be his next team, I was not surprised it was another original 6 franchise. Larry Brooks of the New York Post (www.nypost.com) recently said that this time around the Rangers will not pursue Kane despite some rumblings that Kane may entertain a reunion.
So which teams (rumored to be up to 8 teams) make the most sense for Patrick Kane? Will he chase a cup with a true contender such as Vegas, Boston, Dallas, Florida, or Colorado? Those would all have to be low term / low value deals but could afford Kane an opportunity at another ring whilst also padding his stat lines heading into another UFA offseason upcoming.
Would the Detroit Red Wings be the fit. As postulated by many already, it seems to be the best fit. He would be on PP1 on the right dot with his old teammate Alex DeBrincat, he would be with an orginal 6, he would be close to both Chicago and Buffalo, as well as he would have a "full circle" moment being back in Michigan.
Patrick Kane, to the bemoanment of many Blackhawk historians still bitter on Chris Chelios donning a different shade of red, may indeed take a 20 year circle back to when he was skating "circles" around the competition in Plymouth, Michigan (just 25 miles from Detroit).
From most reports this could happen quickly. I, like most, will be watching to see if this upcoming weekend bares word that Patrick Kane has indeed chosen a new team. Will it be Detroit? Dallas? Vegas? Boston? Buffalo? Toronto? Florida? Carolina?