No. 2: Patrick Kane Wins League MVP Honors
I’m sure I’ll get flack for not having Kane’s Hart Trophy-winning season at No. 1 on this list, but I think I have a fair explanation for that when we do get to No. 1.
Let’s start first with Kane, who has had an incredible 2016 on the ice. While his American-record point streak started and ended in 2015, Kane did plenty in this calendar year to cement himself as one of the better players going today in the NHL.
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Kane tallied 50 of his league-best 106 points during the months of January, February, March and April. He had 33 points in 29 games after the All-Star Game. He ran roughshod over pretty much everyone, often accounting for all of the Blackhawks’ scoring along with Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov.
This led to Kane becoming the first American-born Hart Trophy winner for league MVP. He was also the Art Ross Trophy winner as the league’s top scorer, the Ted Lindsay Award winner as most outstanding player voted by the NHL Players Association, and an All-Star Game captain.
As much as Corey Crawford carried the Blackhawks in net this calendar year, Kane carried them quite often in the offensive end. Even though his 2016-17 season hasn’t been nearly as incredible so far, 35 points in 37 games is nothing to sneeze at, and he and his linemates again are leading the Blackhawks’ offense.
Incredible calendar year on the ice for Kane, but at least it was something we could kind of expect out of him. On the other hand …