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Friedman: Bruins May Have ‘Poked Around’ On Kane



Boston Bruins

Are the Boston Bruins back in on the Patrick Kane sweepstakes?

In the latest 32 Thoughts Podcast, co-host and Sportsnet NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman said that the Detroit Red Wings still appear to be the frontrunners to sign the 35-year-old unrestricted free agent winger. However, Friedman also said that NHL team sources speculated to him that the Boston Bruins are poking around again on Kane.

“There’s a couple of teams out there that suspect that Boston might have been a team that has poked around on this,” Friedman said. “Now again, 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’m 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 can 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 I just think there are teams that suspect that ‘look, this is a player that won’t cost you anything in terms of draft picks or prospects, he’s a free agent and, they’re good again,’ and I just thought I would mention it because it does kind of fit with Boston’s DNA of ‘If we’re good what can add and what cost?’ and this makes sense to me.”

Speaking Monday on ‘The Jeff Marek Show,’ Friedman doubled down on his theory that the Boston Bruins and Patrick Kane make sense for each other, citing the Bruins’ roster construction and the fact that they’re clearly going for it again this season.

“I heard it from a couple of different places that wouldn’t connect to each other,” Friedman added later on Monday afternoon. “From a purely hockey point of view, it makes sense.”

Even though he didn’t say it, Friedman and/or his sources must also be hearing NHL trade chatter involving the Bruins because, as of Monday afternoon, the Bruins had just $712,500 in cap space, according to our friends at Puckpedia. They were also already carrying nine wingers on the roster. That’s why a month ago, an NHL source opined to Boston Hockey Now that there just didn’t seem to be a fit between the Bruins and Kane.

“Don’t expect the Bruins to be in on Patrick Kane,” the source pointed out to BHN on Oct. 28. “First of all, they don’t have the cap space to make it happen even if we’re talking like a one-year, $3 million contract. They also have plenty of wingers and would need to move one of them out. That’s easier said than done right now, with so many teams battling the cap. Now, if Kane let it be known to Don Sweeney that the Bruins were his top choice to sign with, well, then maybe Sweeney tries to pull some cap magic to make it happen. I don’t know. I just don’t see it.”

Now of course, a lot has likely changed as Kane started to field offers more seriously and look for the right fit after missing the first two months of the season rehabbing from offseason hip surgery. Still, though, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney would almost surely have to move a winger off the roster to accommodate Kane and whatever his cap hit winds up being.

Kane, who was drafted first overall at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, has won three Stanley Cups, one Conn Smythe Trophy, and one Hart Trophy. The Buffalo, NY, native spent his entire career with the Blackhawks until he was traded to the New York Rangers just prior to the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline. Kane is third overall in points amongst United States-born NHLers, with 1,237 points (451 goals, 786 assists).

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