Patrick Kane was selected first in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. He was the winner of the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2008. He broke the franchise record for rookie assists (51), which was also first on the team in the 2007-08 season.
It would not be wrong to think that this player should easily be posting amazing stats every single year.
Kane's first NHL season left him with 21 goals and 51 assists—72 total points (minus-5).
His sophomore effort produced 25 goals and 45 assists—70 points (minus-2).
His third: 30 goals and 58 assists—88 points (plus-16).
Last season, he notched 27 goals and 46 assists—73 points (plus-6).
These are amazing stats, sure, but one begins to question why his fourth-season stats mirror his first and second.
Most great NHL players' stats increase from their rookie years. Kane's teammate Jonathan Toews's point totals increase constantly, and so does his plus/minus rating.
The mark of a good player is not only how many goals he can score, but also how few he can let in.
Last season, Toews notched a plus-26 rating, while line-mate Patrick Kane had only a plus-6.
How come one line-mate produced a plus-20 difference?!
Not only has Kane failed to significantly improve upon his statistics from season to season, but he has also produced many a media nightmare.
Let's go in chronological order:
August 9, 2009
Patrick Kane, along with his cousin James, was arrested and charged with second-degree robbery, fourth-degree criminal mischief, and theft of services for allegedly punching a taxi driver in the face after the driver did not have the right change (the fare was $13.80 and they paid him $15).
Kane eventually plead guilty to noncriminal disorderly conduct charges, and only had to apologize to the cab driver.
Photos surface online of Patrick Kane shirtless in a limo with girls, along with former teammates John Madden and Kris Versteeg. These pictures—for which Kane and company clearly posed—show Madden, drink in hand, and Kane—at one point—in only his underwear.
Photos surface of Kane—again!
These photos were taken by a college student, whom Kane took home after clubbing. They show a sleeping Kane and then a picture of his boarding pass. The article mentioning this photo also talks about how Patrick was sporting a mysterious black eye.
Being on the cover of EA Sports NHL 10 automatically makes you a role model, does it not?
My argument is simple: I understand Patrick is a kid and likes to party, but he needs to stop getting caught and should not be punching a taxi driver.
Being a professional athlete automatically makes you a role model for young children—regardless of whether you want to be or not—and Kane knew what he was getting into when he chose this as a career path.
Maybe if he stopped partying, he would be able to increase his already-impressive stats.
In my opinion, Kane should focus on his playing, not his partying, and work towards being included in the same group as Bobby Orr and Stan Mikita.
The Blackhawks should not expect any less.