Over the course of the next month, Chicago Hockey Now will be profiling every Chicago Blackhawks player from the 2022-23 season. Today, will be forward Patrick Kane.
Games Played: 54 with Chicago
(Goals – Assists – Points with Chicago): 16-29-45
Contract Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
The Short View and Long View
Everyone knew this was likely it. And yet, until the trade was made to the New York Rangers, no one was entirely sure. His 16 goals and 45 points weren’t the norm of what had been expected. But the whole season had the hovering cloud of Kane’s departure. It all boiled down to whether he wanted out.
It wasn’t out of Chicago. It was enduring another year of losing and likely seeing more down the road.
So with an expiring contract and a chance to chase another Cup, Kane let general manager Kyle Davidson know the New York Rangers were his preferred location. Wishes were honored, and so went Kane to the Big Apple.
For a sure bet hall of famer who will likely go down as one of the greatest American players of all time–if not the greatest, it seemed an underwhelming return. But Kane held the power with a no-movement. So as things progressed, so too did the end of his career with the Blackhawks.
The Rangers were bounced from the first round, their build up with talent all for naught–this year anyway. Kane had some injuries that hampered his play. But both the fanbase and Kane appreciated one another for all of the years together. It just felt like both sides wish it all could have ended on happier terms.
The Bottom Line
Kane won’t be back. Davidson threw cold water all over that when he let everyone know he wouldn’t be reaching out to him in free agency. Despite Connor Bedard being the choice at #1, the Blackhawks won’t be offering any more. So it’s simple, Kane’s time has come to a close in Chicago.
He was clearly a fan favorite, with the Kane sweaters being as easy to pick out in a crowd as Toews or even Hossa’s. Kane may not have been the two-way forward that the aforementioned were, but the memorable moments he provided are numerous. Take any team that has won titles and each favorite on the team has the memory or moment assigned to them. The one that helps them stand out and put a smile on the face of any fan. Kane kicked it all of–it was his game winning goal that won a Stanley Cup and snapped a 49-year drought. Sure, it wasn’t exactly clear at first. Everyone froze while Kane was completely sure it was in the net and the game was over.
So goes the end of his career with the Blackhawks. In the twilight of his career, it seemed everyone from fans to pundits were frozen with what the season would bring. Kane wasn’t. He knew it was time. With the clause he had that limited where he could go, Kane knew. He waited it out, made his declaration, and was on his way.
In the end, Kane knew it before everyone else did.
Truly, it’s the most fitting way for it all to end.