Prior to this season, no American-Born NHL player had won the Art Ross Trophy for leading the league in scoring. Ever.
Kane had a good chance at leading the league in scoring last season before he was sidelined with a broken collarbone in February that ended his regular season with 64 points in 61 games. Had he kept his scoring pace (1.04 Pts/G) and played the entire schedule of 82 games, Kane would have ended the year with just about 85 points. Jamie Benn led the league last season with 87 points, so it would have been close.
Looking at the history of the Art Ross Trophy since 1947, only a handful of non-Canadian Born players have won the award:
- Stan Mikita (4 times – 1963-64, 1964-65, 1966-67, 1967-68) – Czechoslovakia
- Jaromir Jagr (5 times – 1994-95, 1997-2001) – Czech Republic
- Peter Forsberg (2002-03) – Sweden
- Alex Ovechkin (2007-08) – Russia
- Evgeni Malkin (2008-09, 2011-12) – Russia
- Henrik and Daniel Sedin (2009-10, 2010-2011) – Sweden
All told, a Canadian has won the Art Ross Trophy 43 times out of 68 years. Only four times has an American come close:
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- Kevin Stevens – 1991-92 – finished second with 123 points (Winner: Mario Lemieux – 131 points)
- Pat LaFontaine – 1992-93 – finished second with 148 points (Winner: Mario Lemieux – 160 points)
- Zach Parise – 2008-09 – finished fifth with 94 points (Winner: Evgeni Malkin – 113 points)
- Patrick Kane – 2013 – Finished fifth with 55 points (Winner: Martin St. Louis – 60 points)
Kane and Parise’s top-five finishes in 2008-09 and 2013 are the only appearances by Americans in the top-five over the last decade. Also of note, Kane’s finish this year over Jamie Benn is tied for the widest margin of points between the Art Ross winner and second-place in 18 years. Kane’s 106 points give him a 17-point difference ahead of second-place Benn with 89 points. Sidney Crosby also had a 17-point cushion ahead of Ryan Getzlaf in 2013-14.
Kane becomes the fourth Chicago Blackhawk to win the award, and it is the ninth time a Blackhawks player has won the award.
- Stan Mikita (4 times – 1963-64, 1964-65, 1966-67, 1967-68)
- Bobby Hull (3 times – 1959-60, 1961-62, 1965-66)
- Roy Conacher (1948-49)
- Patrick Kane (2015-16)
For Kane to be the one to break through and win the first scoring title for American players, and to do it in such dominate fashion, is a truly special achievement that he deserves.
Now it is on to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for Chicago, and more specifically, on to St. Louis to face the Blues in the opening round. This marks the 11th time that the Blackahwks and Blues will meet in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Blackhawks having won the most recent Playoff matchup in the opening round of 2014 in six games.