With Patrick Kane in the final season of his contract, there's growing speculation whether he'll stay with the rebuilding Chicago Blackhawks or end up elsewhere via trade or free agency. Some fans wonder if the 33-year-old winger might be interested in returning to his hometown of Buffalo to play for the Sabres.
In a recent mailbag segment, Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News was asked if the Sabres should pursue Kane if he's willing to sign with them next summer. He believes they should do so only under the right conditions provided they have a need for his services and an available roster spot.
Lysowski felt the Sabres would have to move out someone to make room for Kane, suggesting winger Victor Olofsson given his unrestricted free agent status in 2024. It would also mean reducing the playing time for a younger winger. Kane will be 34 next summer and would have to accept a short-term contract.
Recent rumors suggested the Sabres attempt to acquire Kane this summer but Lysowski doesn't consider him a fit for the coming season. He pointed out the Blackhawks will want a return in draft picks and prospects that the Sabres won't want to part with right now.
Kane could consider joining his rebuilding hometown club as a free agent next summer. He'd be following the example of Claude Giroux, who signed last month with the Ottawa Senators. However, the Blackhawks star remains among the NHL's elite scoring forwards and will draw plenty of interest if he hits the open market.
After just one playoff appearance in the last five seasons, Kane's preference could be to sign with a Cup contender. That would rule out the Sabres as a preferred destination.