John Shannon of The Bob McCown podcast tweeted that unrestricted free agent forward Patrick Kane met with the Toronto Maple Leafs today. While the news is sure to get fans and hockey pundits talking, it is just the beginning of the process. Kane has been training in nearby Oakville, Ontario and likely talked to the Maple Leafs first because of proximity.
Shannon followed up his first tweet by adding that the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars and Buffalo Sabres appear to be on the list of interest teams. While most of those teams have come up before in rumors, Dallas and Tampa Bay are a couple of new teams on the list.
ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski further added to the Kane speculation tonight as he believes that Kane will interview up to eight teams this week including the Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers who have both been mentioned in recent weeks.
While every team in the league is likely to have an interest in a player with Kane’s pedigree, Kane is looking to play specifically for a cup contender. The veteran of 1180 NHL games does have three Stanley Cups to his name but is looking to add another milestone to his hall-of-fame resume.
Kane does come with some question marks though as he is coming off a very serious hip surgery after a down season last year with the Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks. The 34-year-old had 21 goals and 36 assists last season in 73 games but did add six points in seven playoff games. The type of surgery Kane had does not have a strong track record of success in hockey players which further complicates any contract talks that Kane might have with interested teams.