Shortly before playing the Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks‘ superstar Patrick Kane received heartbreaking news: his grandfather Donald Kane had died. Any person, any athlete would be overcome with emotions. Most people, depending on who they were, would be unwilling to compete in such a high-pressure situation. Kane is not one of those types.
Instead, Kane scored just over a minute into the game and then again some time later, beating fellow Team USA member and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick both times, and pointing to the sky while on the verge of tears in honor of Grandpa Kane-O. The tears really began to flow after the game, a 5-3 victory. “‘He was one of my, you know, good friends growing up…” a teary-eyed Kane told the media, “Any time you get something taken away from you that’s so close to you, that meant so much to you… It’s tough to hear that before a game.”
Donald lived next to the young Patrick while growing up and would play cards with the younger Kane. They were like best friends. And this was during a mini-slump that number 88 had been going through the month of January. However, the younger Kane took the emotions he was going through and put them to positive use. Hockey is an important part of life for the young Patrick, and no doubt Grandpa Donald would be proud of him. Head coach Joel Quenneville was impressed with the way he played, given his emotions.
Given Kane’s media presence, it would be surprising to anyone more familiar with his hi-jinx to find out how mature he was. But Kane has matured in the past year, and the death of a loved one is never easy. Even with his reputation of being a frat boy, Kane still dealt with the situation as best he could. He is currently scheduled to take a temporary leave to attend Donald’s funeral and will not play on Friday night.
Moving forward, please allow me to get personal for a moment. Having gone through a situation much like Kane has in the recent week in losing a loved one, I can tell that this was not easy for him. However, we keep living and moving forward. Our loved ones who have left us, would not want us to shut down and feel sorry for ourselves after they’re gone. Patrick Kane did the right thing by playing and scoring in honor of Donald. It’s so easy to say he shouldn’t have played, but it’s the wrong choice. The right choice was for him to continue to do what he loved.
Donald would have been proud.