After weeks of speculation on where he would sign for the 2023-24 season, Patrick Kane was picked to sign with the Detroit Red Wings and re-join his former Chicago Blackhawks teammate, Alex DeBrincat. While the contract he signed is only for one year, there could easily be a case for the Red Wings and Steve Yzerman to think deeply about keeping the man known as “showtime” in Motown.
Kane’s Play Has Quickly Returned
After the first few games in a Red Wings jersey, some called the signing a failure because Kane did not come into Detroit and set the world on fire with his play and his numbers on the stat sheet. But at the time, our own Tony Wolak saw the opposite side of the coin with Kane, preaching that patience would be a virtue. Over the last handful of games, the patience that was preached has paid off. Over at least the last five games, Kane has easily been the Red Wings’ most impressive player on the offensive side of the ice earning himself the NHL’s “Third Star of the Week” for the week of Dec. 22 after tallying eight points in only four games.
After coming off an injury and surgery of the magnitude that he underwent that held him out for a part of this season, Kane’s play has quickly returned to form and will continue to be looked upon to help get the rest of the Red Wings offense back on track. If his play can continue, there is no reason that the Red Wings management should not look to sign him to at least another one-year deal at year’s end.
Chemistry with Larkin and DeBrincat
While the chemistry between Kane and DeBrincat was expected due to their time spent together with the Blackhawks, Kane has quickly built quite the chemistry with Dylan Larkin as well, after being put on the first line with him and DeBrincat. The Red Wings’ top line has been one of the few bright spots over the last handful of games and continues to produce at a high level. Kane, in particular, has produced more like his pre-surgery self, having factored in on 37% of the Red Wings goals since joining the team heading into their matchup with the Minnesota Wild on Dec. 27.
With the chemistry built between these three in five-on-five play, it has worked its way into the power play, as well. Sticking with the theme of recent games, the power-play unit consisting of these three players has looked solid, with the connection between Kane and DeBrincat being on display a few times. If they can cash in a bit more than they have so far, the Red Wings power play could once again become one of the league’s top units. Since Dec. 18, the Red Wings’ power play ranks 10th in the league (23.5%), in large part due to the solid play from Kane and DeBrincat.
Veteran in the Room
While the Red Wings have several veteran players on the roster currently, they do not have a player of the stature of Kane. Between the individual success throughout his career tied in with his success winning Stanley Cups, having a player like Kane in the locker room could go a long way for an organization like the Red Wings.
The Red Wings have a handful of young players (Nate Danielson, Simon Edvinsson, Marco Kasper) that could potentially push for a spot on the roster either next season or in a couple of seasons, and having a player show them the way and how things work in Kane could go a long way. Just like Larkin had players like Henrik Zetterberg and Zetterberg had Nicklas Lidstrom, the next wave of Red Wings could have Kane as their mentor to begin their careers (among other veterans as well).
Still Plenty of Season Left
With the season hitting its midway point soon, there is plenty of season left to see how the Red Wings as a team and Kane individually perform. There is always the chance that if the results do not get back to where they want as a team, Kane could be on his way out of Detroit at the trade deadline (full no-trade clause). But, if they can get back on track, he could very easily be one of the biggest reasons why they do and could look to stick around in Detroit beyond this season.