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Kane not expected to sign before 2023-24 season

Patrick Kane New York Rangers Patrick Kane - The Canadian Press

Unrestricted free agent forward Patrick Kane is not expected to sign with an NHL team prior to the start of the 2023-24 season, according to his agent Pat Brisson.

Kanenderwent hip resurfacing surgery on June 1 and is expected to be out four-to-six months.

"Lets make sure he is 100 per cent and that he feels great. Then we can decide where he's going to go," Brisson told ESPN on Thursday. "There's going to be plenty of teams doing good, plenty of teams doing bad. There are going to be teams using [long-term injured reserve]."

"We'll pick where we want to go. I don't think too many teams will turn him down.

Kane finished last season with the New York Rangers after he was dealt, along with defenceman Cooper Zech, in a three-team trade with the Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes that saw Chicago receive defencemen Vili Saarijarvi, Andy Welinski, and two draft picks while the Coyotes received also received a draft pick.

The 34-year-old winger recorded 21 goals and 57 points in 73 games split between the Rangers and Blackhawks last season. He added a goal and six points in seven playoff games before the Rangers were eliminated by the New Jersey Devils in the first round.

"I'm turning 35 next year, but it's not like I feel old," Kane told reporters after the Rangers were eliminated. "I still feel pretty young and I feel like the passion is still there. I know that I can be a top player if my focus is solely on hockey instead of how I feel that day."

Kane's 57 points during the 2022-23 campaign was the lowest of his career since he registered 23 goals and 55 points during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.  This has caused some concern about Kane's long-term viability at this stage of his NHL career.

However Brisson is not overly concerned about Kane's health.

"He's already ahead in his recovery right now," said Brisson. "I'm always cautiously optimistic, but I'm extremely confident as well."

"I do believe he'll be 'the Patrick Kane.'"

The Buffalo, N.Y., native was drafted first overall by the Blackhawks in the 2007 and has 451 goals and 1,237 points in 1,180 career games split between the Blackhawks and Rangers.

Kane helped the Blackhawks end their 49-year Stanley Cup drought in 2010, scoring the Cup-clinching overtime-goal in Game 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers. He helped lead the Blackhawks to two more Stanley Cups in 2013 and 2015 and won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2013.

The 5-foot-10 superstar also has a Calder Trophy (2008), Hart Trophy (2016), Art Ross Trophy (2016), and Ted Lindsay Award (2016) in his trophy cabinet.

Kane was named as one of the NHL's top 100 players of all-time in 2017 and is a three-time first team all-star (2010, 2016, 2017) and named to a second all-star team in 2019.

"Him and Johnny wanted to retire [with Chicago]," Brisson said. "But unfortunately, things worked out differently."