Chicago, IL — In a year of ups and downs and inconsistencies the one thing that has been consistent is the player that is sporting the number 88 Indian head jersey. Patrick Kane is having himself a personal best year and is leading his team in points and hovering around the league lead as well.
Patrick Kane has always been noticeable on the ice but now it seems he never leaves the ice and is always involved in the play. Kane can also be spotted back checking and providing defensive support as well which, may not have always been a part of Patrick Kane’s game but it speaks to his maturity as a player on the ice and an understanding of position and how quick turnover and regaining possession leads to his teams offense.
Kane will always be an offensive virtuoso but adding this dimension to his game is putting him in the talks for the Hart Memorial Trophy. This is awarded to the player judged as most valuable to his team. What makes Patrick Kane so valuable besides his obvious talents is his competitive spirit and his desire to always be improving even with how skilled he already is.
Today for example the Blackhawks held an optional skate for the team and he was there. Why because Patrick Kane needs practice? Because Patrick Kane has matured and realizes that in order to be great you have to constantly work at it and that attitude will make Patrick Kane one of the all time greats if he keeps at this pace. There is no question this year he has led the Blackhawks in every way that a player can. He is leading by example and constantly looking to improve and hone his craft and it shows on the ice and in his overall hockey IQ. Recently he was at the NHL All Star game in Columbus, Oh and the media and some players, his captain Nick Foligno of the Columbus Blue Jackets were astounded by the fact that Kane knew each and every opponent if they were right or left shooting.
Now this does not surprise me because Kane is a student of the game. He loves hockey and lives and breaths it so it is not surprising to me that he would study that and know it.
Again this just illustrates Kane’s overall understanding of the game and how one needs every advantage one can get against other quality players. If he brings this type of insights to his all star team who knows how much information and insights he brings to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Patrick Kane is a kaleidoscope of talents, a rich tapestry of hockey skills and intelligence and he is only just now entering his prime playing years. What is more remarkable is that he already has accomplished almost everything a hockey player can yet he is still striving to improve and be better. He understands there is no such thing as perfection yet it should be our goals to try at least to achieve it.
Yes Patrick Kane is still learning, but he is also teaching as well. He is teaching to never be satisfied with your accomplishments or talents. He is teaching don’t believe your hype you can still be even better. Perhaps what he is teaching us all is that legacy still matters even to a young man with all the accolades and achievements and that is what in the end truly matters.
Patrick Kane may not win the Hart Trophy this year but, when all is said and done in his NHL career his legacy and impact on generations of children and fans maybe even more valuable to the game of hockey than he even knew.