Pending unrestricted free agent forward Patrick Kane underwent a hip resurfacing procedure today, according to his agent, Pat Brisson. The expected recovery time is four to six months, which will keep Kane out for most of training camp at a minimum.
Per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, doctors are optimistic this won’t impact Kane’s career trajectory. This is the same procedure that Washington Capitals center Nicklas Bäckström underwent last offseason; he had 21 points in 39 games in 2022-23 after returning to play in January.
Kane has been dealing with hip issues for the past few seasons, but their severity evidently increased this season. Surgery was on the table as an option before his trade from the Chicago Blackhawks to the New York Rangers, and he recorded just 57 points, a career-low for him in a full season.
Hip resurfacing is similar to a hip replacement procedure but less invasive. Instead of entire parts of the hip being replaced with artificial components, only the damaged parts of the hip are trimmed away and replaced with a metal shell.
Given Kane’s age and the Rangers’ need to elevate their younger players in the lineup, it seemed rather unlikely the two parties would meet on an extension even without the recovery time from the surgery in the picture. The procedure now throws into question when (or if) a team will sign Kane – it’s not outlandish to predict he’ll still be looking for a home when the puck drops on the 2023-24 regular season.
The 34-year-old admitted early last month that he wasn’t fully healthy during the Rangers’ postseason run and would prioritize his healthy this offseason.
Drafted first overall in 2007, Kane has (assumedly) wrapped up his half-decade-plus-long career in Chicago with 446 goals and 1,225 points in 1,161 games. He had five goals and 12 points in 19 games down the stretch of the 2022-23 season with the Rangers.
Again, this doesn’t seem to be a career-ending procedure for Kane, but with the Rangers looking to maximize their competitiveness next season and Chicago focused on rebuilding, he’ll likely need to complete his recovery before donning a new uniform.