Before their game, tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Andrew Crane of the New York Post reports that trade deadline acquisition Patrick Kane will be a “game-time” decision. On Tuesday, Kane took a maintenance day but participated in an individual practice this morning.
At the beginning of this season, it was clear that Kane was not playing at the same speed as in previous seasons. There were many pundits noting an apparent hip injury, but Kane was simply not living up to expectations even on a last-place Chicago Blackhawks team. But on an expiring contract, and his team in the basement, Kane was set to be one of the most sought-after deadline acquisitions.
He made his interest in the Rangers known, but after their acquisition of Vladimir Tarasenko from the St.Louis Blues, Kane being traded at all was now in question. The veteran phenom re-sparked the Rangers’ interest, scoring three goals and seven assists in his last four games in Chicago.
Although he got off to a slow start in New York, he has refound his form primarily playing on the second line, scoring ten points in 16 games. If he is still dealing with a nagging hip, it will be vital for the Rangers to give him the rests he needs, as Kane has been an incredible playoff performer in the past.
Other injury notes:
- In the same report, Crane also mentions that the only other player on the ice with Kane at practice was defenseman Ben Harpur. Shortly after the season began, the Rangers signed Harpur to a 1-year, $750K contract. Primarily playing as a depth defenseman, Harpur has skated in 40 games for the Rangers this year, posting six points and a 0 +/-. Almost three months to the date that he signed this year’s contract with New York, the team signed him to a 2-year, $1.575MM extension.
- Although this is a season to forget for the organization, Lou Korac of NHL.com announces that Pavel Buchnevich will return to the Blues tomorrow night when they take on the Rangers. Buchnevich has been a bright spot on a struggling St.Louis team this year, scoring 25 goals and 41 assists, good for second on the team in scoring. Buchnevich has found himself on the injured reserve a handful of times this year, missing a total of 19 games so far for the Blues.