Patrick Kane hasn’t always been the model citizen during his tenure with the Blackhawks. Between cabbie incidents, limo parties and random drunken photos, Kaner has put himself in positions fans – and the ‘Hawks themselves – have frowned upon.
But for all the tomfoolery, I’m stunned at the amount of discussion regarding Kane being shipped out of town. Remember, most of that partying wouldn’t have been possible without his Stanley Cup-clinching goal which sent us fans into many nights of inebriation.
His numbers speak pretty highly of his value. Kane has amassed 303 points in 317 career regular-season games, and another 48 points in 45 playoff contests. Did expectations rise among fans after the cabbie incident? After the limo party? Sure, and he responded with the most famous goal in franchise history.
I’d say those standards were met, and then some. Here’s a look at Kane’s 2010-11 numbers:
Why would anyone want to run a point-per-game player out of town? Well, the eye test may have something to do with that. I’ll be one of the first to tell you Kane looked very disinterested at times this season. He looked as if his Give-A-Fuck was in the shop and that winning and losing were somewhere in between the sporadic thoughts that came to mind during his hangover.
During the 2008-09 season watching a road game on television, my good friend Chris Maynard said to me, “That Kane guy just looks lazy. I’m not impressed at all.”
That was before he began making headlines as “20 Cent.” Kane has been fighting the “lazy” label throughout his career. And maybe that’s all people want to think about.
Coupled with the team’s struggles to merely make the playoffs, Kane’s seemingly lethargic attitude didn’t do him many favors among us die-hards. However, we may have been a bit too harsh.
Kane never went more than three consecutive games without recording a point, and even then he only did that twice – Nov. 7-13 and Dec. 3-28. The latter stretch may not have happened if not for a lower-body injury suffered Dec. 5 when checked into the boards against Calgary, forcing him to miss nine games.
In the 44 games after returning against St. Louis, Kane scored 16 goals and added 30 assists for 46 points. Not too damn shabby, if you ask me. If he played in all 82, it’s not out of the realm of possibility Kane leads the team in scoring and comes near his career-high 88 points in 2009-10.
Oh, and a goal with five assists in seven playoff games doesn’t exactly reek “TRADE HIM!” either.
Kane may not look the part all the time, but his talent level ranks with some of the best players in the league. He’s still young, and it may take time for his intelligence and game-day attitude catch up to his play. That sure as hell doesn’t excuse his immaturity off the ice, but Kane’s on-ice performance hasn’t even reached its peak.
Trade him? Think again. Kaner put up the numbers he was expected in 2010-11, and my guess is he’ll be doing the same in Chicago for many years to come.