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Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Kane’s Future Replacement

By Andrew Facemyer

Life without Patrick Kane is tough to think about, but this may soon become a harsh reality. He’s cemented himself in history as not only a heart-stopping, exciting player, but he will also hold a special place in our hearts as one of the saviors of Chicago Blackhawks hockey.

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But with any unfortunate incident, such as the rape investigation surrounding Kane, is always opportunity. Having said that, an unlikely player has risen to the top of coach Joel Quenneville‘s list over the past month. We all know him. He’s been at the top of our list since the beginning of time. His name is Teuvo Teravainen.

At first glance, you may think no one could ever replace Kane. Three Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe and one of the best backhanders we may see in our lifetime are a huge void to fill. Although it may not be an immediate solution, believe me when I say that this 20-year-old Finn is the answer.

Across the NHL, you will not find another player with such a similar playing style to Kane than Teuvo. While Kane’s size won’t have him knocking over Dustin Byufglien anytime soon, he holds a skill set reserved for the greats. While his hands make him a generational talent, his decision-making has held him back. We all know that Kane is a “pass first” player. We’ve all seen situations where he has passed the puck when we’ve all thought he should shoot the puck.

Teuvo does not have this problem. From our experience, we have seen a balanced puck handler. While he still has some work to do on his decision-making in his young career, the balance he possesses is a beautiful thing and is something that we have been lacking not only from Kane but also from all notoriously underperforming power play units.

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The 20 or so pounds that Teuvo needs to gain will take time, which won’t make him an immediate solution. The average human can at most gain on average 15-20 pounds of muscle a year, and after watching Teuvo play this season, we can all agree that he needs all the muscle he can get. But currently at 170 pounds, he can be an immediate bandaid. Even at 180 pounds, Kane has the ability to fight off guys 30-40 pounds heavier than him and still have possession of the puck. This gives us legitimate reason to have hope.

To be frank, this kid has more upside than other other player currently on the ‘Hawks roster. He has the hands to handle the puck in every situation, and he has a wrister that goalies will soon fear. He just needs to learn to create space on a smaller, NHL-sized rink. When that happens, we are all in for a treat.

One thing we have to remember is that Kane was not an immediate solution. It took one of the greatest captains in the history of sports (among others) teaming with Kane for the ‘Hawks to become who they are today.

As I said before, Teuvo isn’t an immediate solution either. But he symbolizes a fresh start. He symbolizes a reload. And that’s all a dynasty needs.

Next: Kane Grand Jury Hearing Postponed

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