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Golden Knights Free Agency

Gawlik: Patrick Kane to Golden Knights? No Thanks

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Patrick Kane named to 2022 team USA, credit Blackhawks Twitter

NHL insider Elliotte Friedman suggested there have been rumors and reports linking Patrick Kane to the Vegas Golden Knights. The 35-year-old has appeared in 1,323 NHL games and logged 1,375 points (504 goals).

Friedman said that Kane is talking to as many as 10 teams and prefers an Eastern Conference team due to the tougher travel schedule for the Western Conference teams.

Is Kane to Vegas realistic? Please take a look below from Capfriendly.com.

The Golden Knights are maxed out on roster size and have $0.00 available of cap space. Outside of a player suffering a season-ending injury and going to LTIR, the path to Kane becoming a member of the Golden Knights is tricky.

Friedman suggested that teams are trying to acquire Kane for a one year deal paying around $1 million. The salary cap is projected to go up next season which allows teams to offer Kane a better deal during the offseason. If Kane has a great season on a one year deal, he will get a nice payday in the off season.

If the Golden Knights signed Kane for a $1 million deal, someone has to go. The likely candidate would be Brett Howden traded for a low draft pick. Howden is signed through the 2025 season for an AAV of $1.9 million. Is it the worst deal if the Golden Knights swap Kane for Howden? Of course not. But it is unlikely.

A riskier path to Kane joining the Golden Knights could involve Chandler Stephenson. Stephenson is a free agent after this season and has a cap hit of $2.75 million. The Golden Knights could get a decent return for Stephenson which is better than what they would receive if the Golden Knights do not extend him. Is it worth breaking up Mark Stone and Stephenson? Is Kane going to outperform the expected 60 points that Stephenson will get this season? Not likely. It would also shorten the Golden Knights’ depth at center.

The Golden Knights have used nine defensemen through 20 games. It would be a risky play to move any of the defensemen to clear space for Kane.

Let us assume for a moment that Kane was a Golden Knight. Where would his optimal place be in the lineup? A third line of Cotter-Karlsson-Kane is exciting. Karlsson is a point-per-game player with Michael Amadio on his wing. Imagine adding a lifetime point-per-game player to Karlsson’s wing? How about Jack Eichel and Kane on the same line? Ivan Barbashev would have a lot more open space if he was on a line with Eichel and Kane. Who do you defend?

Kane being a right winger makes things extra difficult. Should Jonathan Marchessault or Mark Stone go down a line for Kane? The depth would be nice. But if Kane was a left winger, things would be much easier.

The Golden Knights are 14-4-2 through 20 games with 30 points and sit in first place in the Pacific Division. There are no big issues the Golden Knights need to address. Sure, Kane would be an improvement over Amadio in the lineup. But a big improvement? Not really. Amadio has 10 points (3 goals) and is a plus-9.

Simply put, the Golden Knights do not need Kane to win a Stanley Cup at the moment. If there were to be a long term injury to a top-six forward, then the Golden Knights could be a player for Kane. Beyond to plug a hole in the lineup due to injury, Kane’s services are not needed in Vegas.

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