The Chicago Blackhawks held their end-of-season exit interviews today, and one of their star forwards disclosed a major revelation.
While the Blackhawks didn’t make the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Patrick Kane had a monster season once again this year. He ended the year with 66 points in 56 games played, good enough for the most points on the team. This is even more impressive given what we learned today during Kane’s final interview of the season.
According to Mark Lazerus of The Athletic, Kane told reporters that he had been “dealing with one little issue” for the majority of the season. Kane didn’t elaborate on what exactly the injury was, but said that it had been a nagging problem since the Stanley Cup Playoff bubble last summer:
"I’m not going to tell you exactly what it is. I feel we’ve done a lot of good things to make it feel good in games, and then other games it hasn’t felt as great. It’s just an ongoing process. Hopefully, we can get to the point where I’m not feeling it at all, and just feel strong on the puck and feel like it’s not an issue when I’m out there."
It’s hard to say for sure what this problem could be, but for Kane to play through the issue for an entire (shortened) season tells a lot about his work ethic. We already knew that he was one of the elite forwards in the game, and along with team goals leader Alex DeBrincat, helped to carry the Blackhawks this year.
While this injury seems to be something that came and went this year, Kane has been mostly healthy for the majority of his career. His biggest knockdown came in 2015 when he broke his clavicle in a game against the Florida Panthers, causing him to miss a large chunk of the season.
Obviously, this team didn’t end the season the way they wanted to. I’m sure every player on the ‘Hawks would rather be playing for Lord Stanley right now, but they simply weren’t consistent enough. Despite this, though, Patrick Kane proved once again that he is one of the best players in NHL history. Hopefully, he’ll be able to overcome whatever injury he’s been dealing with for good next year and help the ‘Hawks get back to the playoffs.