Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Apr 29, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers right wing Patrick Kane (88) warms up before the first period against the New Jersey Devils in game six of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Dealing with a flat cap this past summer and with most contending teams operating at the salary cap ceiling or LTIR pool as a result, it’s awfully difficult — or by all means impossible — for almost any team to make a high-impact trade right now.

Free agency, however, is a different story, and with Patrick Kane still available after undergoing offseason hip surgery, teams are beginning to line up to see what they can and can’t offer to entice the three-time Stanley Cup winner to come to their team for the stretch run. And that group may or may not include Don Sweeney and the Boston Bruins, according to the latest update from the league’s top insider.

  • Mar 4, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Rangers right wing Patrick Kane (88) during the first period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Mar 4, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Rangers right wing Patrick Kane (88) during the first period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

    “There’s a couple teams out there who suspect that Boston might be another team that’s poked around on ]Kane],” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman told Jeff Marek in the latest ’32 Thoughts’ podcast. “It’s all circumstantial evidence, but it makes sense because the thing about Boston is they’re a good team, they could win. I don’t know if they could do more than one year. I am not sure that makes any sense for them. But they are the kind of organization that would look at Kane and say, ‘Does this help us?’ or in a good year, ‘What could we add to make us better?’

    “If you look at last year, they went for it. They lost in the first round, they gave up a lot of capital, but it was a go for it year for them. And they’re good again. I just thought I would mention it, because it does kind of fit with Boston’s DNA of ‘We’re good, what can we add at what cost?’ And this makes sense to me.”

    Friedman noted that it’s difficult to get a read on this because Kane’s camp does not want to deal with any sort of leaks throughout this process, and Friedman even went as far as to say that he’s fully prepared to be on ‘freezing cold takes’ if the Kane sweepstakes do not play out the way he believes as of this moment. But he did say that the info he’s been given is from people with batting averages above the ever-important “Mendoza Line.”

  • Apr 29, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers right wing Patrick Kane (88) awaits a face-off against the New Jersey Devils during the second period in game six of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

    Apr 29, 2023; New York, New York, USA; Rangers right wing Patrick Kane (88) awaits a face-off against the Devils during the second period in Game 6 of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. (Danny Wild/USA TODAY Sports)

    Of course, the No. 1 reason why Kane would be on the Black and Gold’s wish list is the fact that he’ll only cost the club money given his free-agent status. That’s right up the B’s alley considering the fact that they’ve already traded their 2024 first-round pick (top-10 protected) to Detroit to add Tyler Bertuzzi last deadline.

    The Bruins are also without a second-round pick until 2026, and they are approaching the upcoming deadline season without a third-round pick or seventh-round pick in 2024, and do not have their 2025 fourth-round pick.

    The cupboards are pretty bare these days. So adding via free agency and stopping the trend of robbing from tomorrow for today is without question the way the Bruins would want to go. Especially if it meant adding a known commodity like Kane.

  • Mar 4, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Rangers right wing Patrick Kane (88) controls the puck ahead of Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo (25) during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Mar 4, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Rangers right wing Patrick Kane (88) controls the puck ahead of Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo (25) during the second period at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

    Now, the obvious question here is what — if anything — does Kane have left in the tank and is he worth it for a team that really may only have room for one or two (at the very most) moves this season?

    Not only did Kane just turn 35 years old, but he’s also coming off a “hip resurfacing procedure.” Beyond the hip issue, Kane is also a player who has to be hypermanaged in terms of his usage, with Kane being an absolute black hole defensively for years now. To the point where you could argue that it hurts his overall value to a team.

    But from David Krejci to David Pastrnak to Brad Marchand, the Bruins are more than familiar with players working their way back from hip issues. And when you’re lacking the high-end scoring punch the Bruins seem to struggle finding on a consistent basis if Pastrnak isn’t carrying ’em, beggars can’t be choosers.

    Kane also seemed to be moving well in a training video released by his camp two months ago.

    @charlieroumeliotis

    The latest Patrick Kane video as he ramps up training from hip surgery. He looks great. #Blackhawks (🎥: CAA Sports)

    ♬ original sound - Charlie Roumeliotis

    Kane is also coming off a 2022-23 campaign split between Chicago and New York, with 21 goals and 57 points in 73 games, including a five-goal and 12-point line during his 19-game run on Broadway.

  • Apr 29, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers right wing Patrick Kane (88) warms up before the first period against the New Jersey Devils in game six of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

    Apr 29, 2023; New York, New York, USA; Rangers right wing Patrick Kane (88) warms up before the first period against the Devils in the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. (Danny Wild/USA TODAY Sports)

  • The Bruins are not the favorites nor the only team in pursuit of Kane, however, and that much is clear.

    There continues to be links made between Kane and the Red Wings, especially with Chicago linemate Alex DeBrincat now tearing up for Detroit. There’s also been talks of Kane joining the Panthers, Sabres, or even returning to the Rangers. Dallas and Toronto are two teams that have also been mentioned as potential fits.

    And if this turns into a bidding war, can the Bruins really afford to get involved?

    As it stands right now, and barring a trade, the Bruins would need Kane to join their team on a salary close to league minimum. And the Bruins couldn’t go with Bergeron or Krejci with him, as Kane is not eligible to sign one of those dandy 35-plus contracts that can be stacked with bonuses, as Kane did not turn 35 before June 30. Kane also isn’t eligible for a bonus-laden contract as an injured player, as he did not spend enough time on LTIR last year to be eligible for that kind of contract either.

    So, for Kane to be a Bruin, he’s going to have to truly want to be a Bruin. And he’s likely going to have to be comfortable with the idea of a one-year deal (it’s been rumored that he’d prefer a two-year deal).

    But Boston could be a solid landing spot for Kane, all things considered, especially if the left-shooting winger is able to spend some time working some magic with a guy like Pastrnak. It may be a surefire way to rebuild his stock and prove that he’s not as cooked as the advanced metrics and raw data may tell us and that it was indeed a wonky hip that was holding him back. And you could also make the legitimate case that the Bruins could actually use a power-play specialist given how thin it seems to be.

  • Patrick Kane celebrates with the Cup during Game Six of the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the United Center on June 15, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.

    Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane celebrates with the Stanley Cup following Game Six of the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the United Center on June 15, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Getty Images)

    There’s also no denying the allure of Kane when it comes to his postseason resume.

    Not only has Kane won three Cups throughout his career, but he’s almost always been value-add from a scoring standpoint in the postseason, with 53 goals and 138 points in 143 career playoff games. That’s for the most part held true in Kane’s later years, too, as he had nine points in nine games inside the Edmonton bubble during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and added six points in seven playoff games for the Rangers last spring.

    The good news for everyone involved is that the Bruins aren’t going to be playing a Krejci-esque waiting game when it comes to Kane, as the 1,180-game veteran is expected to make his decision “soon.”

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