He stole the hearts of both men and women on June 9, 2010. Patrick Kane scored the peculiar overtime goal to clinch the dream of nearly all hockey players around the league, a dream for the Chicago Blackhawks organization, team and fans for a prolonged period of time. Actually, 49 years to be exact.
Girls fawned over Kane, boys wanted to grow up to be just like him and the media fell in love with the 22-year-old United States-born hockey player.
Now after the shortened time off this summer for Kane and the Blackhawks, they have already played half the season.
Besides Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Tomas Kopecky, not one forward seems to be improving. Taking into account how young this team actually is, this is not a step forward, not even close.
Kane has been one of the biggest disappointments so far this season for the Blackhawks' organization. In 41 games played to date, Kane has a total of 37 points. Last season Kane was a point-per-game player in the least. His +/- stat has also fallen tragically this season, now at a +/- -8 rather than the +/- 16 he was holding on to so gloriously last season.
The reason is unexplainable unless you are Mr. Kane himself. Fans and media like to fault alcohol and women. He is only 22 years old; can one blame him for living a typical 20-year-old's life?
Well, if you want to be dense, then keep believing that Kane is just unfocused because of what the media spills out on television or Twitter.
Is Kane done?
It has been evident the entire team has experienced some kind of side effect from the Stanley Cup hangover, some worse than others.
With Kane sitting at a possibility of having the worst season of his career, it is uncertain if this will continue throughout his contract or if he will regain his credibility.
Even though the slump has been for the entire season thus far, it seems longer, making an allowance for how the rest for the team is producing.
Kane has the capability to be the man who saves the Blackhawks' season if he can step his game up after the All-Star break.
Between the pressure of being reigning Stanley Cup champions, the exhaustion from a short offseason and the entire team suffering from injuries, including some star players (Hossa, Kane), this cannot be all put on Kane’s plate.
The slips of Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith and many other contributors have been unproductive just as much as the next teammate. As a team, they must come together and click as one to produce the same way they did last season.
Captain Toews is doing his best to lead his team to more victories. He has Sharp and Keith as his assistant captains once again. Kane does not have this type of pressure, except he will this weekend.
If Kane can prove in just one short and meaningless game he can show some leadership, this may be the time for him to come back out of his shell for the second half of the season.
There may not be another overtime winning goal in the Stanley Cup from Kane this season, but with his style of play and forming a new attitude, there are high odds of one in the future.