You are now entering the Twilight Zone, an alternate reality that reveals how different things would have been if Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin were never separated.
I know the whole topic is kind of worn out, so I wanted to put a different spin on it. What would Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin’s production have been like, if they continued to play together through the 2018-19 season? Lucky for me, there are resources and tools available to help me investigate my curiosity.
Maybe Stan Bowman doesn’t trade Niklas Hjalmarsson and the defense doesn’t implode. It is possible Kane could have multiple Hart Memorial trophies, Ted Lindsay awards, and Art Ross trophies by now too.
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Like in movies dealing with time travel, if you change something major in the past, there will obviously be positive and negative consequences. It’s really fun to think about and these were just a few examples that came to mind.
The main reason why I wanted to visit this topic was to see what Kane and Panarin’s production would look like, so let’s dive in and visit a glorious alternate reality.
We all know how good of a player Artemi Panarin is. We have two wonderful seasons of memories to show for it.
If you’re like me, then you wish there were more than two seasons worth of Panarin. Let’s see what things would have been like if that were the case.
In his two seasons with the Blackhawks, Panarin posted 151 points (61G, 90A) with a 26 ± rating in 162 games. Not bad for his first two seasons of North American-style hockey. That 151 points in 162 games result in a .932 point-per-game clip.
In addition, his goal-scoring rate is .376 goals-per-game and his assist rate is .556 assists-per-game.
We can use these numbers to estimate Panarin’s would be point total with the Blackhawks through the 2018-19 season.
If we take that and project for two additional seasons, Panarin would currently have about 153 additional points (62G, 91A) as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Panarin’s point total would be 304 points (123G, 181A) in 326 games with Chicago, compared to his actual total of 320 points (116G, 204A) in 322 games with Chicago and Columbus.
In theory, Panarin very well could have increased his goal rate and assist rate in the two additional years in Chicago, so he could have more than his current 320 points.
Of course, we don’t know exactly what Artemi Panarin’s point totals would have been had he stayed with the Blackhawks, but this gives us a good general idea.
Patrick Kane is Patrick Kane. He is going to score and get his points no matter who he plays with, as everyone saw during the 2018-19 season, where he also set multiple career-bests.
When Artemi Panarin was in town, you could tell Kane was really enjoying himself out on the ice. The two players clicked from day one and never looked back.
During the two seasons Panarin spent with the Blackhawks, Kane tallied 195 points (80G, 115A) with a 28 ± rating in 164 games.
He had two of his top 3 best seasons and was showing no signs of slowing down. Kane had a 1.189 point-per-game rate, a .488 goals-per-game scoring rate, and a .701 assist-per-game rate.
When you take those production rates and project for an additional 164 games, Patrick Kane would have had another 195 points (80G, 115A).
His theoretical total would be 390 points (160G, 230A) in 328 games compared to his actual point total of 381 points (151G, 230A) in 327 games with the Blackhawks.
In my Twilight Zone episode, Panarin saw a slight decrease of 16 points, Kane saw an increase of 9 points. These totals were based on playing full 82-game seasons.
Kane only missed one game in the past four seasons and Panarin missed six games, so my Twilight Zone numbers are fairly accurate in that sense. That in itself is also pretty remarkable.
While we will never know what could have been, now we at least have something to hold us over, and hopefully, give some closure to heartbroken Blackhawks fans.