The Detroit Red Wings played four great periods this past week in Sweden, but unfortunately, that was only good enough to garner one of four possible points against their division rivals.
If you live under a rock, the Detroit Red Wings traveled to Stockholm, Sweden, to participate in the NHL’s Global Series. Detroit squared off against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday. Needless to say, things didn’t go as planned for Derek Lalonde’s squad. After falling behind 3-0 to the Senators in the first period and 4-0 overall, the Red Wings clawed their way back to tie the contest only to lose with two seconds remaining in overtime. Tim Stützle batted an airborne puck past goaltender James Reimer as time expired to seal it. If he could play shortstop, he’d have a spot on the Tigers with his hand-eye coordination.
The Red Wings would follow that up with two and a half periods of excellent hockey on Friday against Toronto. Detroit took a two-goal lead into the third frame only to spoil Alex Lyon’s tremendous debut. With Ville Husso welcoming a new baby to his family and not making the trip to Sweden, it allowed Lyon to make his much-anticipated Red Wings’ debut. He performed exceptionally well despite not being overly busy, having to make 26 saves, a few of which were top-notch. The Leafs roared back, scoring three third-period goals to bury the Wings. There was a lot to unpack: the trend of starting slow, sometimes not until the second period, combined with taking an unnecessary penalty late in games, continues to hamper Detroit. That, plus most of Detroit’s veteran defenders looking totally lost in their own zone most of the time, is why the needle is trending down. Considering the great start this team enjoyed at the beginning of the season, it’s disappointing.
The Detroit Red Wings are still linked to Patrick Kane.
That said, future Hall Of Fame forward and current free agent Patrick Kane is still linked to the Detroit Red Wings. Kane, 35, continues to recover from off-season hip surgery but is close to returning to game action. This past week, ESPN.com’s Greg Wyshynski reported Kane and Pat Brisson, his representation, began meeting with teams. TSN’s Darren Dreger said the Kane camp hopes to cut that list down by this weekend and could reach a decision by early next week.
The Detroit Red Wings sit with an 8-6-3 record, good for 19 points on the season. That places Detroit fourth in the Atlantic Division, trailing the Leafs by a point but just one point ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are expected to get star goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy back from injury very soon.
Detroit is 3-5-2 over their last ten games, which makes me wonder how deep these Kane-to-Detroit roots are in reality. Kane is rumored to opt for a destination close to home. His home is in the Buffalo area. That leaves the Sabres, Maple Leafs, and Red Wings within close proximity. Two of those teams are trending up; the other (Toronto) remains a legitimate contender, but Buffalo currently sits seventh in the Atlantic with 15 points.
The Leafs have cap issues that need to be addressed before they have enough money to sign Kane. Toronto sits with a mere $60,000 in cap space; the Sabres sit with $7.8 million, and the Detroit Red Wings have about $4.4 million. If Kane is hoping to make a run at the Stanley Cup this season, he will need to take less money than both Detroit and Buffalo have to offer. If he’s willing to sign a one-year deal with hopes of signing a short extension after he proves he’s healthy and back to his usual self (whatever that is at 35), he may enjoy signing with a younger up-and-coming club like Buffalo or Detroit.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said the Florida Panthers’ Bill Zito has been among the most aggressive GMs regarding Kane. This is interesting because you don’t need to have a geography major to realize Sunrise, Florida, is nowhere near Buffalo, where Kane resides.
Kane is coming off a 21-goal, 56-point season between the Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers, just a year removed from a 92-point, 26-goal season on a rebuilding Hawks club where he saw limited support. Regardless of how you perceive the man, he can help Dylan Larkin, Alex DeBricant, and Detroit’s power play.