A Critique on Patrick Kane.

A Critique on Patrick Kane.

I sort of wanted to start the player evaluations with Michael Frolik, because I think he might be the biggest question mark for the Blackhawks moving into the off-season. But, Patrick Kane is in the news right now, and well, has made himself a big question too. I also see a great comparison between the Blackhawks as a team, and the play of Patrick Kane. He had some really bad rough patches, dominated at times, seemed excited one day, then non-existent the next, can be easily pushed away physically, and is defensively frustrating. But when he is on, man is he good, though he seems to need a certain kind of environment to flourish. In other words, he is inconsistent.

Now that I think about it, his success is very closely related to the Hawks success. We all know that Toews is the engine of this team, but is Kane possibly the stirring wheel?

Given his off-ice antics, this is a guy I do not want behind the wheel. These antics, which I will presume to be true, are causing a rush of rumors about his possible trade. The whispers had begun even before the season ended, with his 2nd underwhelming year in a row, and although I am still on the fence about what I would really do if given the choice, I do not see his Cup winning goal as enough reason to keep him around. One lucky goal does not grant you amnesty. Kaner is like a brand new Porsche. Sure, it can run beautifully and perform amazingly, but you really can't drive it in all conditions, and you rarely do, because you don't want to see it totaled in an accident. When conditions are right though, man can that thing handle brilliantly.

Lets look at the stats:

Kane played in all 82 games which is pretty impressive. He scored 23 goals and recorded 43 assists for a whopping 66 points. His shooting percentage wasn't all too great and is a place of concern moving forward. When all is said and done, I really don't think anyone is happy with him unless he is getting a point a game. Toews pretty much did this, and he brings so much more to the game. Toews and Kane will always be compared, whether or not it is fair, and I think this also offers an area for concern moving forward. I personally thought Kane was due for at least a 90 point season and that 100 was within his reach as the season started off. What a disappointment.

The Good Stuff:

When Toews was out, Kane stepped it up big time. Even when he wasn't scoring goals, he was adding to the overall play of the Hawks during this stretch. Until this point, my support for him was waning.

His personal set of skills are ellite. No one has the hands that this guy has, and that can be widely seen from time to time, but not all of the time. By the end of the year, he had finally realized how much frustration he could cause goaltenders with this power in the shootout, but you you have wonder what took him so long. He also has great vision, usually a pretty strong sense of the ice, and can pass with the best of them. It is often that the sheer threat of these talents being used gives him enough space to make things happen for the Hawks. It is often that opposing defenses will not attempt to pressure him, at the risk of creating an odd-man situation, or being made to look foolish. When he is at the top of his game, he is of superstar caliber. He even seemed willing to make some hits, and play some defense at points this year.

The Bad Stuff:

Where do I start? Well, as mentioned, 66 points is not going to cut it, especially following another not so great year, and especially for a guy with his skills and role on the team. These skills are extremely well suited for the power-play, and we all know how that went. In fact, I believe that Kane's performance this year had a direct impact on the PP. Just another reason how he is the man behind the wheel of this team's success. Defensively, the Hawks were weak, and so is Kane, although there were bouts of strong play in this area, especially when Toews was out. When Toews took a seat, Kane stepped up, but is this all great news?

I fear that Kane will never be able to get out of Toews' shadow, and that he might need to in order to be successful. His play in the just mentioned scenario is some evidence to this. Kane's mental preparedness for games is suspect, as is the Hawks in general, but his seems to have a larger impact. He was terrible in the playoffs, and I don't think it was a coincidence that it came with Toews' return. Kane likes to be celebrated, and can use this as motivation at times, such as making Luongo look silly. Without getting to much further into it, I just have my doubts about his potential to meet his expectations, and his mental stability could be why.

As with a few other players, I feel that this inability to meet expectations is hindered with Q behind the bench. Kane is one of the players that I personally believe is not a believer in Q (I have my reasons). Although, since he is one of the trophied "core" players, Q gives him the ice-time to produce the points we all anticipated. Unfortunately, his bouts with every pairing imaginable, and in every forward position throughout the season hindered this. However, when all is said and done, Kane is one of the players where I feel coaching should not have been enough to keep him from excelling. He is just too darn talented, and his skills are more realized than others. Q's place within the system does however, give me reason to doubt Kane's performance for next season as well. Can we handle another disappointing season from him?

And then we have his off-ice focus. Okay, I get it. He is a young millionaire, a little reckless, but nothing too distant from what other kids his age are doing, especially if they had money like he does. While I get it, I sure as heck do not condone it. When he was said to have beaten up an old taxi driver, I gave him the benefit of the doubt, and made excuses for him. When he was flaunting his stuff around town without a shirt, when he should have been focused on hockey, I laughed and looked the other way. When he was getting kicked out of Chicago bars (A young celebrity with lots of expendable income), I began to worry. With recent news, I am kind of done with it. His head is not in the game. He does not have to be the model citizen, or someone for young hockey players to look up to, but he should be decent enough to stay out of the news. It all points to a guy who is not ready to handle certain things going on in his life, and anyone who gets paid that kind of money to play a game, should be held to at least a slightly higher standard. You have to live and breath what you do for a living sometimes. My god, a teacher is paid enough to warrant a second job, and is pooped on in society at the moment, but if he or she is seen with a wine glass in their hand on Facebook, they get fired.

My point; life his hard sometimes, and being great at what you do takes a lot of extra work. Work that the average citizen is unwilling or unable to accomplish. So, lets not make excuses for him. Kane needs to show us that he is better than this, and capable of being the poster child for this team, and earning of his place in the "core", and willing to work at it to make things start working. He said he wanted to be better at the start of last season. When do we hold him to that?

Yes, I think trading Kane is an option right now. If sitting Frolik so that Scott can play is an option to this administration, while Frolik does all of the little things right accept put the puck in the net. Then, given Kanes recent on-ice and off-ice performances, makes it a worthy conversation. This Hawks team needs to start building some character, and Kane is a good place to start.



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  • Your comment about getting out of Toews shadow is something I started to think about this season. At the start of the season, when he was moved to center, I really felt like Kane was giving great effort. I thought he looked like he wanted to take control of that line and take the next step in elevating his game. When they took him out of that spot, I felt like that marked a significant downturn.

    When I think about whether the team should trade him or not, 90% of my opinion stems from coaching and management. As the Yotes and Kings have shown this year, a lot of success seems to be about making adjustments. Much of the league has now adapted to the Hawks, and individually, to Kane. I think Kane wants to and will be an dominant player. But without solid support such as a coach and GM who can bring in players to fit with him, I don't think he will continue to excel here.

  • In reply to VegasHawksFan:

    This is another good point on the matter. Yes, Kane did show an interest to grow when moved to center. It is also another reason why I do not support the Kane-Toews line combo.

  • Something that I left out of the good paragraph for Kane:

    Kane is excellent in the area of puck-posession. The Hawks only system of play seems to stem from having the puck more than the other team. I think that this is a good place to build a team around and Kane fits into that ideal well.

    Again, I am not totally for the trading of Kane. If used correctly, and motivated in the right direction, he has obvious value.

  • Mr. Kane does seem to be the Hawks little miscreant that keeps getting dog doo on his shoes. Will he ever grow up ?

    Maybe. I'd give him one more year for all the reasons you mention HH. I would hope someone from the organization would point out the many bottom dwelling teams that he could end up playing for.
    Does he fancy having a "Rick Nash - Blue Jacket career" and playing golf every spring ? He was not the only player for whom motivation seemed an issue this season.

    Off-ice antics must stop unless he wants to run for public office. At 100 plus points a year it shouldn't be tolerated and he isn't close to that.

    Give him a position, two line mates and let them figure it out. If they suck don't shake them like a martini, let them grow up and accept responsibility for sucking. The way Q juggles would make me feel he was responsible if I played poorly.

    Play him at centre, tell him his draw % needs to improve and then pat him on the head, a lot. Children can be coached but I dare say it requires a different approach then Q brings to the table.

  • Kane's strength is his puck possession. He brings the puck down, creates some extra time with his puck handling, and is great at hitting the trailer for a good look. This is Kane's style. Usually, this is a defensmen. Unfortunately, with our defensemen unable to put shots on net consistently, Kane's points suffered. Kane is not a goal scorer, he will never get 40 goals in a season. He is a playmaker. The way our defensemen shot the puck this year reminded me of the Lorne Molleken and Dirk Graham era where we couldn't hit the ocean if we fell out of a boat. Kane was a point per game player for the 2 previous years prior to this season. Maybe that coincides with the fact that management chose to get rid our our only offensive-minded defenseman in Campbell and nobody could fill his role. Add in the fact that he was getting bounced around from line to line, center to wing and I can understand why his point production was not as high as we expected.

    As far as the incident in Madison goes, I am not too concerned with it. The kid is 23 years old and should be coming out of college now. The Hawks had just been eliminated from the playoffs. Apparently, people expect him to go right into training for the next season. Not gonna happen. Most of the reports about what happened in Madison have already been proved false with interviews with bystanders, bartenders, and employees of the establishments. The media makes it seem much worse because it is Patrick Kane and his history.

  • In reply to BigJack:

    Speaking of Campbell on this site is like speaking of rope in the house of a man who was hung LOL. You boil it down nicely, Kane is an awesome playmaker, which to me is why it seems crucial to decide whether or not they are truly going to build around him or just provide more retreads who can't keep up with him. Looking at the playoffs, I think the new paradigm next year will be even more of the same. Teams are going to work to take away the point shots and if you can't pull one timers, something the Hawks seem incapable of, you are not going to score from outside the house.

    For the off ice stuff, the Hawks, or whatever team Kane might get traded to, are simply going to have to just deal with it until he is 25 or 26 years old. It is what it is and it's not going to change until he is bored with it.

  • I agree with most of the sentiment here. Kane is a playmaker, plain and simple. He is a winger and not a center and should be left there. Perhaps the reason he was more noticeable at center is because he had to play the 200 ft game. Like Pilote says, give him some linemates —some linemates with size—and leave him alone.

    All this talk of trade on other threads is making me nauseous. No way the 'hawks trade Kane unless the returns are greater than the giving. There's too much marketing at stake here and while Tiger Woods is an example of what happens to an elite athlete when he's caught "buns up kneeling", I think Kane has a ways to go before he falls down that well.
    Not that 'hawks management shouldn't be doing something about it—I'm sure they've addressed it already—but as Vegas points out, nothing will get done until Kane decides he's ready to change it. Most of what we get via the media is scurrilous innuendo, not entirely factual.

    He's a kid who's had a taste of too much, too soon. Stanley Cup, wads of cash, and girls that just don't say no. What is bothersome to me is not so much that he does these things, but that he seems to have no regrets and worse still, no remorse. He cares very little about the organization that pays his way. As a team mate I would wonder how much (including what we don't see or read about) of this stuff affects his game. It could be a divisive factor in the locker room as well.

    As for the team in general, since we're stuck with Q, unless some significant players are brought in to address the grit and size issues with this team, you can expect a first round exit next year as well. I'm not talking about Gary Suter either. We already have a few too many of him.

    In my opinion, and I don't know squat, they need to address the bottom six in a big way, a second line center and d. Goaltending should be right up there as well. The 'hawks are a shoe-in for the playoffs for several years. But, the team as presently constructed is not going to go far in the playoffs. Moves should be made to address the playoffs and not the regular season. All this trading or signing more of the same is just being stubborn and content.

    It's probably all moot anyway as we're headed for a lockout of some significance, I think, next year. We may be speculated for a looooooooonnnnnnnnggggggg time, guys.

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    You are probably right about Kane. They likely won't trade him. However, your comment about him seeming to care little about the organization could be the thing that gets him moved. Rocky is certainly not his Dad, but I tend to think he will have a lower tolerance point than McD will. But, again, you are probably right and he stays.

    Well, it's all over for the Yotes and though I was rooting for the Kings, that was a shitty end. Brown was going to blow him up no matter what and though it was close, it probably was just barely legal.

  • Poster "child" is close but Poster PUNK is a little more accurate! Trade the pissant to Buffalo, where they know who he is, except maybe elderly cab drivers. lol As a long-time Hawks fan, I don't think Kane is worthy of the Indian Head.

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