If Patrick Kane signs with the Buffalo Sabres history, is not on his side

Patrick Kane is a hot name among a contingent of Buffalo Sabres fans, but history is not on his side regarding a return from hip resurfacing surgery.

The Buffalo Sabres have likely been one of the teams talking to Patrick Kane, and if not, you still can’t ignore the chatter surrounding him, given his roots in Western New York. However, if Kane and the Sabres deem one another as a potential match, general manager Kevyn Adams must exercise caution before he makes the potentially reckless move of signing the 35-year-old.

It’s common knowledge that Kane underwent a hip resurfacing procedure, but the odds of him successfully returning from it are null and void, and that’s no exaggeration. Just look at Nicklas Backstrom, who had the procedure in June 2022. Backstrom has played in just 47 games since, and is currently taking time off after playing in just eight games this season.

Backstrom also hasn’t even been a relevant player lately, ending 2022-23 with minus-25, and 14 points in 39 games. In eight games this season, Backstrom has a minus-3, just one point, and his career could be over, depending on how he feels the hip responds at a later date.

Source: The Daily: Is Backstrom Decision a Sign For Red Wings to Steer Clear of Kane? Bertuzzi Fond of Marchand by Bob Duff, Detroit Hockey Now

Buffalo Sabres need to exercise extreme caution if they were to sign Kane

There is also Ed Jovanovski, who had the procedure done just over 10 years ago in 2013. The result? 37 games, five points, and a minus-6 before Jovanovski called it quits. Carl Hagelin and Ryan Kesler also hoped to extend their respective careers with the same procedure.

Source: Ed Jovanovski says Ryan Kesler ‘has a battle in front of him’ after latest hip surgery by Eric Stephens, The Athletic

Hagelin, however, also had an eye injury that ultimately ended his playing career after he underwent the hip procedure in February 2023. But Kesler, who had the surgery in May 2019, was forced to miss the 2019-20, and 2020-21 seasons, and he ultimately retired during the 2021-22 season, having last seen NHL ice on March 6th, 2019.

Source: Kesler says he understands NHL career is over by Adam Kimelman, NHL.com

You look at the track record of NHL players who have gotten the procedure, and it’s easy to see it’s a poor one. This isn’t to say Kane will suffer the same fate, but history is nowhere near being kind to him. So once again, the Buffalo Sabres MUST exercise extreme caution before they even think about signing Kane to any deal should such a situation present itself.


(Information provided by Hockey-Reference)