Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane has a lot of nicknames around these parts.
Kaner, Patty, Showtime, Mayor of Dangle City – the list goes on. It tends to come with the territory when you’re a clutch superstar in a big city.
As of this writing, our beloved Patrick leads the NHL in scoring with 63 points. Even for the ridiculously talented Kane, that’s something worth writing home about with March just around the corner.
Especially because Patrick Kane is a cold-blooded American.
Hailing from Buffalo, NY, Kane would be the first ever player born stateside to take home the NHL scoring title – more affectionately known as the Art Ross Trophy.
Expanding that to the NHL’s MVP award, the Hart Trophy, Patrick Kane would be just the second American to grab that honor. The first and only, Billy Burch from Yonkers, NY, did it way back in 1924-1925.
So yeah, kind of a big deal.
Kane isn’t exactly a stranger to the Hart Trophy voting process. Both seasons he and the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, 2009-2010 and 2012-2013, he finished 7th and 6th respectively. Naturally, those are the only seasons he’s finished with more points than games played.
And now he’s on pace to accomplish that for a third time, with 63 points through the Blackhawks’ first 58 games. Kane is also on pace to break his career-high of 88 points set in ’09-’10 and just four goals from breaking his career-high of 30 from the same season.
Thinking about the big picture, an Art Ross trophy would be a fitting next step to an already illustrious career for Kaner. In the home stretch of his eighth season, Patrick Kane has accomplished more than most hockey players, particularly American ones, dream of doing by the end of their playing days.
The Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year. Two Stanley Cups. Four All-Star games. A Conn-Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. A Silver medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics.
And yeah, the dude turned 26 three months ago.
When you think about the bigger picture, as in the greatest American hockey players of all time, I think it’s time to start thinking about Patrick Kane making an official run at that title. Shit, if he ends up taking home the Art Ross it won’t matter what I think.
So as the Blackhawks close out the regular season and march towards the playoffs, keep an eye on number 88 while he chases history.
After all, the last two times Captain America scored at this pace he finished the season with a big silver Cup in his hands.
(Feature photo courtesy of Kris Krug)