Red Wings re-sign Patrick Kane to 1-year deal: What this means for Detroit

“Showtime” will go on in Detroit.

After a negotiation that went right to the edge of free agency opening, future Hall-of-Fame winger Patrick Kane is returning to the Red Wings on a one-year deal, the team announced Sunday. It will have a base salary of $4 million, with up to $2.5 million in bonuses, per league sources.

After joining Detroit midway through last season, following hip surgery, Kane scored 20 goals and had 47 points in 50 games for the Red Wings, who came within a tiebreaker of the playoffs.

What this deal means for Detroit

First and foremost, it means the Red Wings keep a key offensive driver and piece of their top six. Kane was a key part of Detroit’s scoring attack last season and a crucial puck distributor and zone entry creator for the team. His vision and creativity were a big part of the reason the Red Wings finished as a top-10 scoring team in the league last season.

The team’s underlying numbers suggest it may be difficult to repeat, but the feat would have been even more difficult without Kane, who even at 35 and coming off of hip surgery remains one of the smartest and most skilled players in the league.

What the term means

It means Detroit was able to keep this key piece of its offense without locking in to any significant term. This part is a surprise because Kane indicated at his end-of-season news conference the term would be important to him after re-locating twice in the last two seasons.

That the Red Wings were able to keep him on a one-year deal maintains flexibility for the team. Kane’s cap hit will be $4 million.

If at the end of the season, Detroit has enough cap space to accommodate any bonuses Kane may achieve, it will count against this year’s cap. If the Red Wings do not have the cap space to fit Kane’s bonuses at the end of this season, they will be applied against the 2025-26 cap.

What could be next for the Red Wings?

Detroit still has many needs, starting with improving its team defense — at all levels. The team traded defenseman Jake Walman but could add a defenseman either for their power play or as a shutdown defensive stopper to take some pressure off Moritz Seider on the right side.

They also could add in goal, although the goalie trade market has recently thinned out significantly.

But it also needs to include defensive improvements from the forward corps, which was particularly weak defensively last season. For everything Kane brings, he does not address that particular need.

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(Photo: Brian Bradshaw Sevald / USA Today)

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