Blackhawks superstars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews aren’t kids anymore
Showtime, in his 10th NHL season, is coming off the best campaign of his career, earning the MVP of the league honor this past year. With Kane being one of the most entertaining players in the NHL, Blackhawks fans have been lucky to have him in Chicago by making even Blackhawks regula- season games must-see TV.
With Kane’s off-ice legal issues, some were afraid his career could have ended after serious allegations were made against him in the summer of 2015. Blackhawks management could have parted ways with Kane, but the historically family-friendly ’Hawks stood behind Kane.
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Kane has been on a line for the past two years with Artem Anisimov and rookie of the year Artemi Panarin. His chemistry with Panarin have made them a dangerous dynamic in the Blackhawks’ transition game, and especially dangerous on the powerplay. With Panarin signing a bridge deal to be with the Blackhawks the next two seasons, the window to win is now.
After struggling most of 2017 and in his 10th season in the league, Toews may have hit a wall with hockey.
Deep Stanley Cup runs, Olympic games, World Cup games and continuous training are all factors to Toews’ slowdown, but these high expectations were set by none other than Toews himself.
As captain of the Blackhawks, Captain Serious has always demanded excellence for himself and his teammates. Other young centermen around the league are knocking at the door of Toews’ top spot as one of the best two-way forwards as Toews closes in on 30 years old.
Every year there seems to be a spot on the top six that needs to be filled. In 2010 and 2013, the question was always who will center Kane’s second line.
The last two seasons, the question has been who is going to flank Toews on the first line. The ’Hawks have rotated almost every forward into that slot but haven’t been successful in finding Brandon Saad‘s replacement.
If a productive winger can be obtained via trade, the Blackhawks will again contend for another Stanley Cup.