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The Toronto Maple Leafs reportedly met with Patrick Kane

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Photo credit:© Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
3 months ago
Patrick Kane is inching closer to making his decision on where he will play this season, and it is being reported that one of the teams he spoke with is the Toronto Maple Leafs.
We obviously don’t know the specifics of the conversation or how long it lasted, but it is still pretty significant that the two parties even met up in the first place.
The Leafs may be considered to be a long shot to sign the 2007 first-overall pick given their limited cap space and the fact they don’t have a gaping need for another offensive winger given they already possess Mitch Marner and William Nylander. Despite their outside chance of snagging him, the chance to play alongside Auston Matthews might appeal to Kane. The winger has spoken about his desire to one day play with the Leafs’ star forward while the latter grew up idolizing Kane.
It’s also notable that Kane has spent the past few months rehabbing in the GTA when he could have done so anywhere else. This does not prove he wants to sign with the Leafs but the fact he has been close to Toronto for this long is certainly intriguing.
Of course, they aren’t the only team in the running for Kane’s services. The Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars, and Florida Panthers have all been reported as contenders to sign him. Detroit has the appeal of reuniting him with Alex DeBrincat, the Sabres are his hometown team, while the latter four are perennial contenders that have a good chance at a deep run this spring.
His ultimate goal is to join a team that gives him the best odds at another Stanley Cup and a place to play for the next few years. Even if he believes the Leafs are the best place for him to compete for hockey’s ultimate prize, they will need to shed a significant amount of salary and demote a player to the AHL given they only have under $60K in cap space, which makes the prospects of landing him really low.
Kane split this past season with the Blackhawks and Rangers, where he recorded a combined 57 points (21 goals, 36 assists) in 73 games. He went on to add a goal and five assists in seven playoff games as his team fell to the Devils in the first round.
He has yet to play this year due to his recovery from hip surgery in early June. The expected recovery time from the surgery is six months.
Stats from Hockey-Reference.com. Salary information from CapFriendly.

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