Last year’s Art Ross and Hart Trophy winner Patrick Kane is off to a great start this year, and today is his birthday!
It’s pretty safe to say that if you call yourself a hockey fan, you know the name Patrick Kane. It’s also safe to say you know the Chicago Blackhawks winger is considered one of the best hockey players in the NHL, and perhaps of all time.
Here in Chicago, we are lucky enough to have him on our team. He is well known for providing highlight-worthy goals and plays night in and night out. For example, take a look at this sprawling goal from last Sunday’s 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
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Or how about this beautiful pass that led to a goal for linemate Artemi Panarin during a game against the St. Louis Blues last January?
These are just two examples from from the past two seasons of how Kane dominates on the ice. But he has been doing this sort of thing on a regular basis since he joined the NHL in the 2007-08 season as a green and naive 18-year-old.
Today, he’s 28 years old. He’s not a teenager anymore. Nine years in the league has seen Kane gain experience, maturity and an awful lot of success. He has three Stanley Cups under his belt, along with a Calder Memorial Trophy, a Conn Smythe Trophy, the Art Ross and Hart trophies mentioned above and the Ted Lindsay Award.
So far this season, Kane currently leads the team in points with six goals and 13 assists, for 19 points. This also puts him in sixth place in the league in both points and assists.
Kane has recently been playing on the top line alongside Jonathan Toews, instead of with his usual linemates, Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov. Kane and Toews haven’t been able to generate much, but I don’t expect this to last long. Either they will break through with some production soon, or Kane might end up back on that second line that can be so dangerous.
Kane talks jokingly about the “kids” that are new to the league and new to the Chicago Blackhawks this season. It is now his job to lead by example to fresh, young teammates such as Vinnie Hinostroza (22 years old), Tyler Motte (21 years old) and Nick Schmaltz (20 years old).
Despite just a few years’ difference in age, these guys are a world apart when it comes to the skill and experience Kane has gained along the way. He is now a veteran, and has a new role of being a mentor to the younger/newer players. However, he is still considered to be in the prime of his career. Hopefully we can look forward to watching Kane work his magic for many years to come.
Ah, but we get ahead of ourselves. Today is Kane’s birthday, and he will suit up along with the rest of the Chicago Blackhawks against the Vancouver Canucks. Do you think his teammates will be trying to feed him the puck? Well, when it comes to someone like Kane, you pretty much always want to get the puck on his stick. Because more often than not, he’s going to do something good with it.
Happy Birthday, Kaner! Let’s see if you can top it off with one of your famous goal cellys!