DETROIT -- Patrick Kane didn’t make his Detroit Red Wings debut until Dec. 7, but the veteran forward believes donning the Winged Wheel during the 2023-24 season was an unforgettable experience.

“I have nothing but positive things to say about the organization,” Kane said during his end-of-season media availability on April 18. “Obviously, the opportunity from Steve (Yzerman) and Newsy (Derek Lalonde) to give me the chance to come and play. Situations I was put in I feel like I got a lot of opportunities to play in the top six, power play and play with some great players. It was fun to be around the group, be a Wing and in this organization. I’ll definitely have some memories that will last me a lifetime.”

After undergoing hip resurfacing surgery on June 1, Kane signed a one-year deal with Detroit on Nov. 28 and went on to collect 47 points (20 goals, 27 assists) in 50 games this season.

Patrick Kane | End of Season Media Availability

“Patrick was great, wasn’t he?” Yzerman said on April 19. “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 as a playmaker, good for our power play. Being a creative winger really filled a void for us and I think he brought a lot of swagger to the team in his own way.”

Kane’s familiarity with Alex DeBrincat, his close friend and former Chicago Blackhawks teammate from 2017-22, was one of the factors that drew him to Detroit. And while Kane didn’t join the Red Wings until late November, he sees a bright future ahead for the club.

“Coming into this year my decision was based on playing on a good team, a team where I thought I fit in well,” Kane said. “Obviously, there was comfort playing with Alex again. It’s something I was looking forward to and really enjoyed that as well. But as the season goes on, you realize there’s a lot of good players to play with. I was put in a good situation to succeed. I played a lot of minutes and played with some good players.”

Kane has admitted he didn’t feel like his normal self last season, which he split between the Blackhawks and New York Rangers, because of lingering hip pain. Now, Kane said he feels back to 100 percent health.

“I go on the ice now and I’m pain-free, which is unbelievable compared to how I felt the last couple years,” Kane said. “Pain-free, but probably still need some explosiveness back and some of that stuff. Being pain-free is unbelievable and you never really know how these things are going to go. The doctor said the thing that got me as far as having the (hip resurfacing) surgery was I wasn’t going to have to retire because of my hip. That was the one thing that put me over the edge to go for it. Sitting here, I’m definitely happy that I did.”

Kane is looking forward to a healthy offseason and enters this summer as an unrestricted free agent.

“The surgery and rehab are over,” Kane said. “I can train like an athlete this summer, which I haven’t done in the past few years, which is exciting for me. I can work on my explosiveness and evening out my right and left side, which are probably some things I have to do as well.”