The Detroit Red Wings made the big move to sign Patrick Kane, but what now? It’s like sneaking a peek at a Christmas gift but still having a month to unwrap it. In this case, Kane will likely be in the Red Wings lineup next week.
After the signing of Kane was announced, the Detroit Red Wings noted that it would take 7-10 days or so of practice and time to get settled in with his new squad before hitting the ice. With a new forward in the mix, some line changes will come up.
While Derek Lalonde has not been afraid to shuffle the deck and roll the dice with their line combinations in 2023-24, the Red Wings will have some decisions to make. For Detroit, it will take some changes up front in the top six that could make for some interesting conversations.
That being said, let’s talk through a few of the Detroit Red Wings options when it comes to finding a spot for Patrick Kane to jump in with the team. These are three different line combinations for the Red Wings to consider.
Detroit Red Wings should consider mixing Patrick Kane into these combos.
For these combinations, I assume that Dylan Larkin will return to the ice from his injury when Kane makes his debut. If not, that would likely throw a wrench in things for this. But we’re going to assume that Larkin will be able to get back on track and be good to go when Kaner makes his debut.
Detroit Red Wings Line Combination #1: Alex DeBrincat – Dylan Larkin – Patrick Kane
This one seems like the obvious choice. There’s not much in me that believes the Red Wings will want to split up Alex DeBrincat and Larkin, who have been nearly inseparable all year long. DeBrincat has gotten settled into his place in Detroit quite well, and with the reunion with Kane, it could make for a fun rest of the season. Larkin is the heartbeat of the team, so it’s hard to see a world where he would not center the top two forwards on the team, but I do not think that’s 100% certain he’ll be between DeBrincat & Kane.
Detroit Red Wings Line Combination #2: Alex DeBrincat – J.T. Compher – Patrick Kane
While this one might upset some folks, it would require either Dylan Larkin to be bumped down to the second line or DeBrincat & Kane to make the move down to the second line. But, if the Red Wings wanted to keep Raymond with Larkin while reuniting DeBrincat and Kane, this is certainly something that Lalonde could try to see what happens. I think J.T. Compher provides some balance up the middle, while DeBrincat and Kane will use their offense to find success. This may not be how it looks as the Red Wings mix Kane in early on, but if Newsy shuffles the deck, this could be a combination to watch out for.
Detroit Red Wings Line Combination #3: Lucas Raymond – Dylan Larkin – Patrick Kane
This one intrigues me because it has both Lucas Raymond and Kane playing off wings and leaves DeBrincat on another line. But, the speed that Raymond brings with Larkin’s play-making and Kane’s overall offensive prowess… there could be something there. For the Red Wings, it may not be option number one or the first idea that Newsy has in mind, but this could be a line combination to test out and see what happens. While it does leave Kane away from DeBrincat, and those two seem like a sure bet to play alongside one another, the Red Wings will likely tinker with things.
Prediction for Detroit Red Wings line combinations
While nothing has been made official, and Lalonde has not indicated anything, I’d expect Larkin to center DeBrincat and Kane to kick things off. It seems the most logical to avoid splitting up Larkin and DeBrincat. Kane may not be ready for top-line minutes, but he will have some familiarity with DeBrincat, so it could allow his transition back to the ice to go smoother.
There’s still time before he hits the ice for a game, so more reports from practice or comments from interviews could hint at certain things. But these are a few combinations that the Red Wings should test out as Patrick Kane settles in with his new squad.