Monday, September 19, 2016
With World Cup marking his 10th season, Kane 'still on my front nine' of NHL career
TORONTO - It's been over nine years since it was selected No. 1 overall in the NHL Entry Draft in Columbus. Chicago Blackhawks star and South Buffalo native Patrick Kane suddenly enters his 10th season in the NHL. Seemingly out of nowhere, it is almost 30 years to 20 and had another birthday coming Nov. 19
But Kane is far from the twilight of his career. He is coming off a season Hart Trophy awarded to the most valuable player of the league and is a leader for Team USA as it heads into the World Cup of Hockey.
"It's a little scary for sure," said Kane this week in the Air Canada Centre before the tournament the first Saturday's game against Team Europe (3:30, ESPN2). "I'm in my 10th year, but feel I was a young kid at heart, as I'm still on my first nine here in the league.
"But I'll be 28 later this year. It is amazing how time flies. There are still plenty in the tank, even a great team in front of us with the Custom Blackhawks Jersey, yet important occasions like the World Cup. you really want to take advantage of them and play well because you do not know how many opportunities you have left. Hopefully a little more. "
Kane had his best season as a pro in 2015-16, setting career highs in goals, assists and point (46-60-106) while becoming the first American-born player to win the trophy Art Ross in the regular season scoring champion of the league. But the Blackhawks could not defend their third Stanley Cup title in five seasons, the abandonment of Seven game in St. Louis and was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in five years. Kane scored one goal in the series.
Chicago has 12 players in this tournament and it would be 13 were it not for the knee injury that has put aside the star defenseman Duncan Keith. Kane feels first extended offseason Hawks in a few years will be the rested and ready to go. He spent most of Chicago in the wake of allegations of sexual assault last summer in Hamburg, which was later dropped, but says he has chosen outside of any influence by Blackhawks. In addition to a lot of golf, Kane skated with his teammates and prospects Blackhawks.
The NHL Awards in Las Vegas in June, Kane said he understood his career now need more preparation during the offseason and said he was particularly interested in how Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James prepares for season. Kane and James met while shooting a commercial McDonald last few years and Kane has made clear that it can continue to work on his explosiveness and flexibility as James did. The 2015-16 season was the first time in five years, he played 82 games.
"I feel good, feel excited to start the season," said Kane here. "I took a little more time off the ice than usual I would. In fact many different things on the ice to get my body ready and feel good. You never want to lose in the first round and have that long of a season but when it happens, you have to enjoy it. "
Kane came to camp prepared and said he was particularly honored to be named an alternate captain for this team. San Jose's Joe Pavelski captain.
Said coach John Tortorella during the training camp of Team USA in Columbus: "I do not coach, but I look at it during our year, and I listen and I see the maturity that I want to take more responsibility now is .. ready for more responsibility as the leader of an American team, where before it was "Kaner, go play. and make no mistake, it is really good . But I think he's ready for more responsibility and I am ready to give to give him because he deserves it. "
Family and friends of Buffalo Kane followed his career over the world, as far as the Olympic Sochi 2014 Games in Russia. So it is particularly pleased to have a world class major event just up the Queen Elizabeth Way.
"It'll be great to have family and friends to come. It is an easy place for them and they will be at all the games and enjoy practical too I guess, "he said." I'll be able to go out and eat with them and spend time. It will be fun to hang out with my family and friends, but at the same time, you are here on business, here to take care of a job and hang with your teammates and bond with them as it is just nice it is close to home and Toronto. I "'m sure they'll have fun."
The Americans have not had a lot of hope for the accumulation of the tournament. Roster building was controversial as Team USA went for grain type of players built in Tortorella fashion such as Justin Abdelkader Detroit and Brandon Dubinsky Columbus, leaving the house the likes of Pittsburgh scoring star Phil Kessel. In fact, Kessel had hand surgery and his rebuff has become irrelevant, but the wisdom that prevailed in the United States was going to fight to get out of their group.
This may have changed some during playback of the exhibition. Americans donated to Team Canada, 4-2, in their first match last week in Columbus and beat Finland 3-2 on Tuesday to end the game 2-1 in the preseason. The victories were sandwiched around a 5-2 loss to Canada in Ottawa.
The opening victory against Team Canada has been a revelation in the world of hockey, both the result and the high intensity and chippiness of what was supposed to be an exhibition.
"I'm not really sure what all of us expected," said Kane Jersey. "I think we all went there to feel it on but there was not much of a process print-out, that's for sure. It was very intense 100 mph. Both teams were proving they were better than the other .. .. for many of us it is a great way to start the season, get in right away with the Canada-US games a two shows at once. we all had the same reaction, how fast he was, how intense it was with some hits and extracurriculars after the whistle. "
Regarding nationalist pride and flag waving, no team has come as close to Team USA to date. There was the famous flap with ESPN Tortorella say anyone who is on the bench during the national anthem would remain there for the game. The coach was a member of the Army talking to the team at his camp in Columbus and stand behind the bench for the first exhibition against Canada, and the whole group visited the Navy base in Quantico, Va., earlier this week.
At a news conference Thursday, Team USA general manager Dean Lombardi high Los Angeles Kings veterans and even city famous passage from John F. Kennedy's 1961 inaugural address "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country. "
"It definitely has that Olympic-type feeling to play for your country, that's sure," said Kane. "Especially when it is in Toronto, hockey home, the Mecca of world hockey. It'll be exciting to be a hockey player and be in the tournament. What a way to start the season and what a way great to continue international play. "