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Maple Leafs among teams to meet with FA Kane

New York Rangers Patrick Kane - The Canadian Press

The Toronto Maple Leafs are among the teams that have met with free-agent winger Patrick Kane as he nears a decision on his future.

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reports that up to eight teams were initially involved in the Kane sweepstakes, but the veteran is expected to narrow his list in the coming days.

"Patrick Kane is mulling over the multiple options that he is considering," Dreger said Tuesday on Insider Trading. "He and his agent, Pat Brisson, were part of several face-to-face interviews, including ones with the Toronto Maple Leafs that happened via a Zoom call, so I guess we’re dealing a bit there in semantics. As many as eight clubs [were] initially involved, the agent Pat Brisson will start circling back to clubs to tell them that they’re out – that hasn’t happened yet – when a final decision is made.

"It was expected that it would be made early this week, but again, it’s a difficult one as Kane looks over all of these options, given that it’s U.S. Thanksgiving week. If it doesn’t happen this week, then perhaps it happens early next week."

Earlier this month, TSN Hockey Insider Chris Johnston pointed to the Buffalo Sabres, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings and Florida Panthers as suitors for Kane.

The 34-year-old winger is inching closer to a return after undergoing hip resurfacing surgery on June 1. He was given a recovery timeline of four to six months, and Brisson released a video of Kane's conditioning routine on Sept. 27 for interested teams to see.

Kane split last season between the Chicago Blackhawks and the New York Rangers, having been moved at the trade deadline. He scored 21 goals with 57 points over 73 games between the two teams, and had one goal and six points in seven playoff games as the Rangers were eliminated in the first round.

Drafted first overall by the Blackhawks in the 2007 draft, Kane helped the franchise win three Stanley Cups (2010, 2013 and 2015), taking home the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2013. Kane has also won a number of individual awards, including the Hart, Art Ross and Calder trophies as well as the Ted Lindsay Award.

The Buffalo native has 451 goals and 1,237 points in 1,180 career games split between the Blackhawks and Rangers.