Even though he had some tumultuous times early on in his NHL career, Patrick Kane has grown into a respected leader on and off the ice. As the 33-year-old’s time with Chicago may soon be nearing an end with the Blackhawks in a rebuild, it’s important to look back not on just Kane’s accomplishments but at the man himself.
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Kane Helped Blackhawks Snap a Long Championship Drought
Blackhawks bettors had very lucrative times at the Vegas online casino when Kane and Jonathan Toews were skating their way to Stanley Cup Championships in 2010, 2013, and 2015. Those wins were the first time the Blackhawks had hoisted the Cup since 1961, a long drought for an original six team.
Kane was not just on the Stanley Cup winning team of 2010, he scored the game-winning goal in OT to give the Blackhawks the series and snap their 49-year drought. He also took home the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2013.
Kane Appeared on a Hockey Card at a Very Young Age
Hockey officials knew Kane was going to be a star at a young age. In fact, they put him on a trading card when he was just six years old. Well, they didn’t put him on there on purpose, as Kane was caught in the background sitting in the front row on his father’s lap during a Senators at Sabres game.
The trading card was actually for Sylvain Turgeon, who, like Kane, was a member of his own all-rookie team. Kane would go on to tie – and then move well past – Turgeon’s 269 career goals.
St. Louis Came Hard for Kane at the Draft
#1 picks in other major sports are no sure things. Players like Tim Couch and Jamarcus Russell in the NFL or Michael Olowokandi and Anthony Bennett in the NBA became more infamous for their careers than famous.
Hockey is a bit different, as many franchises have been completely turned around by a #1 pick that went on to be a start. Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, Nathan Mackinnon, Connor McDavid, and Auston Matthews are some of the recent #1 picks that are on track to be first-ballot hall-of-famers.
Chicago doesn’t regret taking Kane #1 at all, as his selection led to three Stanley Cup championships. It also had to be hard for Chicago management to turn down an offer of three first-round picks from the St. Louis Blues, who wanted to move up and grab Kane. The Hawks stayed firm, and the Blues had to settle for Lars Eller, Ian Cole, and David Perron in that draft.
The Best American Born NHL Player of All-Time?
While Auston Matthews may have a say in things before it’s all said and done, and some great could always come along in the future, it’s widely accepted that Kane will go down as the greatest American-born hockey player of all time.
Kane got his resume for greatest U.S.-born hockey player ever going early when the Buffalo, N.Y. native became the first American to win the Calder Trophy for the league’s top rookie. Interestingly enough, Kane had to beat out his teammate Jonathan Toews for the award, but his 72 points in 81 games ensured the race was never really that close.
There are many more things on the resume for Kane’s claim as the greatest American hockey player. Kane became the first U.S.-born player to win the Art Ross Trophy as the leading scorer and the Hart Trophy as the league MVP. He also has the longest consecutive point streak by an American at 26 games, falling well short of Wayne Gretzky’s 51-game mark.
Opponents Shouldn’t Fire Him Up
Kane has evolved into one of the most well-rounded hockey players ever, but early in his career defenseman Willie Mitchell told the media that Kane was just a power play and shootout specialist and that he couldn’t play five-on-five. Kane went on to score a hat trick as the Blackhawks eliminated Mitchell’s Canucks from the playoffs in 2009.