Rangers Report Cards: Grading the Right-Wingers

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Rangers Report Cards: Patrick Kane B ( Wasn’t on the team)

When the Rangers acquired  Kane at the trade deadline, the anticipation for his March 2 debut was through the roof. The Rangers had acquired a three-time Stanley Cup champion, former Conn Smythe, Ted Lindsey, Calder, and Hart trophy winner from the Chicago Blackhawks.

Sure, he might not be in his prime anymore, but with the team’s offensive firepower, they didn’t need him to juggle flaming pucks. As long as Kane and Tarasenko were like the “B” versions of their peak selves, New York practically booked a cruise to Stanley Cup island.

People around Kane were telling him to fix his hip before the trade. However, he pushed through just like he had the past year and a half. He was about to join the Rangers, a top-notch team with a shiny Stanley Cup on their to-do list.

Then came the big day – March 2. Madison Square Garden was buzzing like a beehive during a caffeine rush. The concessions ran out of Kane jerseys an hour before the game.

Watching Kane flash his moves in a Rangers uniform was breathtaking.

Unfortunately, Kane pulled a disappearing act on the scoreboard. He was practically moonwalking on the ice as the Senators scored three goals when he was on. Even the power play, where Kane was supposed to bring the game fireworks, turned into a soggy 0 for 4 sparkler display.

Fast forward a bit, and Kane scored five goals and seven assists in 19 games. He even added a sprinkle of magic in the playoffs, especially in game 2, where he finally remembered his showtime spells, registering a goal and three assists.

Sadly, the magic wore thin throughout the series against the Devils. New York was like a balloon losing air, and the Devils were like that one kid who won’t stop poking it.

Off-season time arrived, and Kane’s injured hip was begging for attention. He settled on a hip resurfacing operation for June 1, an alternative to hip replacement where the femoral head is covered with metal. Kane knew he would be out for 4-6 months, so he has yet to sign and likely will only once he recovers. Kane turns 35 on November 19, where he’ll officially be eligible for performance bonuses with up to 7.5% of deferred money permitted.

While the Rangers could bring him back on a one-year deal, it might not be the most strategic move. As Kane noted in his exit interview, “They [the Rangers] have young guys they need to sign.”