Patrick Kane won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup playoff MVP last year, leading the Chicago Blackhawks to their second championship in four seasons. If the United States' hockey team is going to perform well in the 2014 Olympics, Kane must be one of its best players.
Kane, 25, was the top pick in the 2007 NHL draft and has outperformed many other No. 1 picks from the last decade. He is on pace to soar past his career highs of 30 goals and 88 points this season. He scored nine goals and 10 assists in last season's playoff run.
Kane and teammate Jonathan Toews are considered the Blackhawks' one-two punch. Toews will be one of Canada's top players, so the two will be competing against each other in Sochi.
These teammates-turned-rivals may have several confrontations with Olympic glory on the line.
Like many NHL players, Kane played in Europe during the 2012 lockout. He lived with his mother while competing in Switzerland, where there were no reported off-ice escapades, and has since returned to the NHL focused and on top of his game.
Making the Team
The U.S. Olympic hockey team announced its roster in early January and, as expected, Kane made the cut.
"It’s still part of my maturation process and something I’m still trying to get better at. And the biggest thing, it was embarrassing. That’s from deep down inside me,” Kane told the Chicago Tribune about his past behavior, per Chris Kuc.