Blackhawks News

Blackhawks Top 100- #5 Patrick Kane

By Tim Lively
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May 2, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing

Patrick Kane

(88) celebrates scoring a goal during the third period of game one of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Minnesota Wild at the United Center. Chicago won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

We’re counting the days until the Chicago Blackhawks 2014 Season kicks off. We’re doing a Top 100 list of all time Chicago Blackhawks. It’s a fun way to pass the time and take a stroll down Memory Lane as we head towards opening night on October 9th in Dallas.

Patrick Kane: 2007-present

Games Played – 515

Goals – 178

Assists – 315

Points – 493

Playoffs:

Games Played – 93

Goals – 37

Assists – 54

Points – 91

During the early to mid-2000’s, there was a fairly ubiquitous sight in the streets of Chicago, and that was a navy and orange jersey sporting the number 54, the number of Chicago Bears player Brian Urlacher. Chi-Town denizens everywhere paid homage to Urlacher by donning his jersey while he was with the Bears, and for good reason. He helped lead the franchise out of hibernation and nearly to a Super Bowl championship title.

Things began to shift in 2007 however. A new sight was growing more common by the day on the Chicago boulevards and bar tops. The number of another Chicago athlete was findings it way onto the backs of Chi-Town’s citizens more and more with each game, and that number was 88, in red, white, and black. Yet, this reverence of 88 would soon supplant the hopeful aspirations that had clung to Urlacher’s jersey. In fact, this growing adulation would soon manifest into something Chicago hadn’t experienced since the Chicago Bulls Dynasty of the 1990’s.

Patrick Kane, a native of Buffalo, New York, arrived in Chicago in the 2007 NHL draft, and the Blackhawks, and Chi-Town, would never be the same. I could summarize Kane’s career achievements thus far with the Hawks, but you already know them, and you have all this prior knowledge because Patrick Kane has been more to the Blackhawks than just another talented player to sport the Indian-head sweater; he’s a savior.

To say Kaner came to our beloved Chicago Blackhawks at critical time is an understatement. Yes the franchise had not hoisted the Stanley Cup in nearly 50 years, but believe it or not, that was the least of the Hawks’ problems. For over a decade, the Blackhawks’ relationship with Chi-Town had been on the rocks. Between the Blackhawks’ poor management, poor performance, and poor broadcasting, you’d be hard pressed to find any person or business sporting any Blackhawks paraphernalia. Now, everything has changed, and we have Patrick Kane to thank.

It was somewhat ironic that the Blackhawks initially promoted Kaner’s upcoming career as “Raising Kane.” Kane snapped a historic Stanley Cup drought in Chicago by scoring the championship-winning goal and won an Olympic medal all in same year, all before he was 25. He had achieved what most hockey players strive for all their lives. Overnight, Kane went from an up and coming player to the Prince of Chicago.

Having achieved two pinnacles so early in his career and at such a young age, it was no wonder Kane fell into somewhat of a rut. His off ice antics and his on ice shortcomings following 2010 had many questions Kane’s continuing commitment to the Blackhawks.

It was at this precipice that Kaner came through for Chicago, bringing the Stanley Cup back to Chicago and winning the Conn Smythe Trophy in the process. After 2013, not only Kane’s talent, but his dedication would never be questioned again.

For the Blackhawks and the city of Chicago, Patrick Kane is more than a jersey number you now see everywhere you go in Chi-Town and eventually hanging from the United Center rafters, he’s an institution, and it’s a safe bet that many, many years from now, Patrick Kane’s last contribution to the city of Chicago, will be a statue next to Michael Jordan’s outside of the United Center. We’re looking forward to the ride Kaner!

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