Blackhawks: 10 questions on our mind heading into the new season

By Jimmy Lynch
Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Patrick Kane #88, Chicago Blackhawks
Patrick Kane #88, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

4 – Can Patrick Kane lead the team?

Like Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane has a lot on his plate during the 2020-21 season. This is the first time he will be without players like Jonathan Toews, Corey Crawford, and Brandon Saad. After going to the Stanley Cup playoffs last season and having another great season putting up 84 points in 70 games, Kane was rewarded with Bowman calling for a rebuild in Chicago.

Buy-in from the core group of players would be great in Chicago, but I think Kane might be a step above the core group. Kane is the one player from the core group that probably can play at a high level for another five years or so. Buy-in from him is essential for this rebuild.

I am not trying to say Kane needs to purposely throw games this season for the Blackhawks to get back to contention. Rather I believe that Kane plays a critical role in this rebuild. He will have to be the voice and mentor for the forwards this season. Having him sit on the bench during the last minute of a close game to give someone else an opportunity or him being upset about who his linemates are is not going to put this team in the right direction.

Plus, the question of whether or not Kane can continue to produce when more so than ever all eyes will be on him is rather interesting. Sure, Kane has put up long point streaks in the past and has been a threat in the NHL, but there were still some other stars on the team at that time to keep some attention off of him and on other players.

This coming season, the Kane line will be the most challenged line by opponents, so someone will have to rise to the occasion elsewhere for the Blackhawks to produce goals.