Once again, we have another article praising the skills of Patrick Kane. However, this time it’s not about his maturation or his growing skills, rather what he means to this Chicago Blackhawks team. As the franchise’s first ever No. 1 overall draft pick, you would expect Kane to deliver on that promise. But with the way he’s been playing, the Hawks’ front office would be making a huge blunder if they let him go.
If Kane had been picked by another team, it’s possible that the Blackhawks might not have had the resurgence they’ve enjoyed over the past half-decade. But that’s not important. What is important is what’s happened with Kane on the team. He’s scored left and right, scored a Stanley Cup-winning goal, and won a Conn-Smythe Trophy in his short, but seemingly long career in Chicago; not to mention he’s fun to watch.
Just ask Jaromir Jagr. Yes, the Jaromir Jagr. “(Kane) and (Pavel) Datsyuk are my favorite players to watch,” the great told the media, “(Kane) is kind of the prototype player from 1995, and he’s playing (now). He slows the game down and that’s the way we used to love it.” It has to say something about the way you play when a sure Hall-of-Famer like Jagr likes you.
Kane has scored at least a point in 12 straight games, matching his career high — from this very season — and has a total of 49 points as second in the league. As it was mentioned in an earlier article, he is gaining on perennial scoring leader Sidney Crosby and has a chance to surpass him as the top scorer in the league for the first time. Unlike Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, Kane does not get as much press (as if that matters in the long run).
What does matter is how Kane plays in the next half of the season. The Blackhawks are looking to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions, and that means that every player will have to step up as the season goes on, including Kane, which is not the issue. It is more than certain that Kane will step up his game as the season rolls on. Just recently, he reunited with Hawks captain Jonathan Toews on the same line. While Kane has performed well without Toews and vice-versa, the two are almost comparable to Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in terms of how they perform as a dynamic duo.
It’s Kane’s electrifying play that has helped revive the Blackhawks, and it’s thanks, in part, to his electrifying play that the Hawks are leading the Central Division. Once Kane’s contract is up, the Blackhawks would be wise to re-sign him; not doing so would be disastrous for the franchise. In the meantime, if he doesn’t win the Hart Memorial Trophy, Kane is most certainly the team’s MVP.