Patrick Kane DET

DETROIT -- Patrick Kane would have no issues returning to the Detroit Red Wings next season, but neither he nor general manager Steve Yzerman sounded optimistic that would happen, with each speaking of the 35-year-old forward's one-season tenure here in the past tense this week.

“It was a great year,” Kane said Thursday. “It was fun to be a Red Wing and in this organization. I’m definitely going to have some memories to last me a lifetime."

Yzerman also sounded like someone reflecting back on Kane’s time in Detroit.

“Patrick was great, wasn’t he?” Yzerman said during his end-of-season press conference Friday. “He’s like a wizard with the puck -- his skill, his sense, his calmness in high-pressure situations and in the danger areas.

“He was great for our team, and I think he brought a lot of what I guess they call swag.”

Kane had 47 points (20 goals, 27 assists) in 50 games after signing a one-year, $2.75 million contract with the Red Wings on Nov. 29 following hip resurfacing surgery June 1. He played 19 games with the New York Rangers last season after being acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in a three-team trade Feb. 28, 2003.

In coming to the Red Wings, Kane was reunited with Alex DeBrincat, with whom he had good chemistry with as a linemate for five seasons in Chicago.

“I really enjoyed playing with Alex again, but as the season went on, I realized there are a lot of really good players here to play with,” he said. “I was put into a great situation to succeed.”

But with six pending unrestricted free agents, Detroit's roster will almost certainly look different next season.

“We have four unrestricted free agents up front (forwards Kane, David Perron, Daniel Sprong and Christian Fischer)," Yzerman said, "and we’ve got (defenseman Shayne) Gostisbehere on the back end, plus James Reimer in goal. I told them I have interest in bringing all of them back, but we have some restricted free agents to sign (most notably forward Lucas Raymond and defenseman Moritz Seider, each completing his entry-level contract) and they are going to have a significant impact on our (NHL) salary cap.

“It’s really a puzzle.”

Kane said he's willing to wait and see what the free agent market brings during the offseason.

"Yeah, I mean, you know, obviously, I'm a free agent," he said. "So I'm not under contract, but I'm sure I'll just kind of explore the situation here. Talk to my agent, kind of go over everything and kind of see what makes sense to go to one one way or another.

"It's hard to say right now ... really fully understand the situation, but I guess we'll kind of see what happens. And I'm sure my agency will have those conversations and kind of go from there."

Kane played the first 16 seasons of his NHL career with the Blackhawks, helping them win the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

Kane was voted the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as most valuable player of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs and won the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP in 2015-16, when he led the League with 106 points (46 goals, 60 assists) to also win the Art Ross Trophy. He was also voted winner of the Ted Lindsay Award for most outstanding player by members of the NHL Players' Association that season and won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in 2007-08, when he led first-year players with 72 points (21 goals, 51 assists).

Kane is second in Blackhawks history with 1,225 points (446 goals, 779 assists) behind Stan Mikita (1,467). His 1,237 NHL points (451 goals, 786 assists) are second among United States-born players behind Mike Modano (1,374). He was voted one the 100 Greatest NHL Players in 2017.

He lived up to his nickname of Showtime with Detroit, leading the Red Wings with seven game-winning goals. Fittingly, his shootout goal against Cayden Primeau secured a 5-4 win at the Montreal Canadiens in the regular-season finale Tuesday, moments after the Red Wings learned they were eliminated from playoff contention by virtue of the Washington Capitals' 2-1 win at the Philadelphia Flyers.

Detroit coach Derek Lalonde also spoke of Kane in the past tense Friday.

“He’ll be hard to replace, because he’s special,” Lalonde said. “Not only what he gave us on the ice, but what he brought in the room. He talks about star power and swag, and that’s all real.”