Friedman: Some suspect the NY Islanders are in on free-agent Patrick Kane

Chicago Blackhawks v New York Islanders
Chicago Blackhawks v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

While the New York Islanders have left the door open for Zach Parise to return at some point this season, another US-born player, Patrick Kane, remains the biggest free-agent name yet to sign with a team, and there is still no clarity as to where he will end up.

On his 32 Thoughts podcast with co-host Jeff Marek, SportsNet's Elliotte Friedman says that, based on the people he's spoken to, the preference of the three-time Stanley Cup winner is to stay longer than a year wherever he signs. They've also gotten the sense that it's easier on his body if he's in the Eastern Conference. Friedman mentions the Avalanche, interest in Dallas; the Leafs are always part of the discussion, as are the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights.

Friedman also mentioned upstart teams such as the Detroit Red Wings and Buffalo Sabres as possibilities. One team that was a surprise to hear him mention was the Islanders.

"I know there are some people that suspect the Islanders simply because there's a cloud of secrecy on this, said Friedman. "The secrecy king is Lou Lamoriello and Kane is exactly the kind of player the Isles have been looking for."

"But the Islanders don't look like they can win right now, so what does Kane think about that?"

Do we think that Kane will end up with the Islanders? No. It almost feels somewhat cruel even to mention it as a remote possibility. If winning another Stanley Cup is tops on Kane's priority list, it's understandable why the Islanders and their 50/50 playoff roster aren't a favorite to land him, though I don't know why teams like Detroit or Buffalo would somehow be viewed differently.

Last season, there was speculation that Lamoriello had an interest in trading for the 35-year-old Kane and Mathew Barzal it would be "pretty cool" to play with the future Hall-of-Famer. By mid-February, it was reported that Long Island was not among Kane's preferred destinations.

It's hard to believe anything has since changed, no matter how secretive the news surrounding his next team continues to be.