This is, 100%, not an April Fool’s joke. Patrick Kane is on the ice for a team practice.
Although he had been previously sighted at Johnny’s practicing on his own, it means a great deal for him to be practicing with the team.
Here’s some proof showing it, for you that are, wisely, hesitant about news released today, brought to you courtesy of Scott Powers of ESPN.
It appears that Kane is quite a few weeks ahead of his projected time-table of 12 weeks given on February 25th, giving us his return to be mid May, but it can safely be assumed that that projection was a safe-guard against a Derrick Rose type of situation.
It’s worth noting that he is currently skating in a white jersey, which is one used for players who’ve been deemed as “No Contact” (injured). Joakim Nordstrom is also donning a white jersey in today’s practice.
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So,what does this mean for the Blackhawks?
Well, sadly, nothing for the regular season. Because of the salary cap restrictions (which don’t apply to the playoffs), Kane can’t actually set foot on the ice for a regular season game, even if he was ready.
What this does tell us, however, is that there’s a good chance Kane will be more than ready when the playoffs come around (I don’t need to tell you what he brings to the team and how much we’ve missed him). After all, between the projected timeline and the fact that Jonathan Toews was in a similar situation last year when he was benched for a few games with an injury pre-playoffs, not too many of us were really expecting to see him before then.
Collarbones being healed to the point of being capable of allowing him to shoot and collarbones being healed to the point of allowing him to take a hit are two very different things. Besides, after signing that enormous contract going in to next season, why risk the long term by putting him on the ice too soon?
Reminder that Chicago’s next game is Thursday April 2nd against the Vancouver Canucks at 7:30pm central. Playoffs begin after the season ends April 11th.
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