Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane A Hart Trophy Finalist

By Colin Likas
Apr 3, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) celebrates his third goal of the game against the Boston Bruins during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 3, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) celebrates his third goal of the game against the Boston Bruins during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /
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While this isn’t particularly surprising, it was made official Saturday morning: Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane is one of three finalists for the Hart Trophy. Kane will go up against Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn and Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby for the honor, which is awarded “to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.”

Kane finished the regular season with a league-best 106 points, becoming the first American-born player to win the Art Ross Trophy in the process. Kane also had a 26-game point streak between Oct. 17 and Dec. 13, which established new Blackhawks and American-born player records. Kane was also named a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award on Friday, given to “the most outstanding player in the NHL as voted by members of the National Hockey League Players’ Association.”

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Benn is not a surprising nominee for the Hart, as he also joins Kane as a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award. Benn finished second in the league with 89 points and picked up a lot of slack when Tyler Seguin went down with an Achilles injury. As a result, the Stars won a division title for the first time since 2006 and finished with the Western Conference’s best overall record.

Crosby is the most interesting Hart nominee of the trio. He got off to a miserable start (by his standards) this season, but a strong finish ultimately secured his spot.

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It’s important to remember the postseason has nothing to do with voting for this award. If it did, Kane’s dominant regular season might actually get tossed out due to the Blackhawks suffering an early exit. But since the Hart just counts regular-season success, Kane should be pretty close to a lock for the honor. Only Corey Crawford was as beneficial to the Blackhawks’ regular-season results as Kane, while both Pittsburgh and Dallas can claim more than two players led to their success (Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury in Pittsburgh, Seguin and John Klingberg, among others, in Dallas).

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