Patrick Kane officially cleared for full participation before Game 1 of playoffs

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Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) skates with the puck against New Jersey Devils defenseman Eric Gelinas (22) during the third period at the United Center. The Chicago Blackhawks defeat the New Jersey Devils 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
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Nashville Predators, your worst nightmares have been realized in the final week of the regular season. Your team stunk it up going into the playoffs. You drew the Chicago Blackhawks. And now, Patrick Kane has been cleared for full participation before Game 1 Wednesday in Smashville. 

According to reports, Kane practiced Monday in a contact jersey for the first time since he broke his clavicle Feb. 24. And coach Joel Quenneville thought Kane looked awesome. Because that’s what everyone around the Blackhawks has said every time he has practiced.

If he has always looked so incredible, why is he still out? Sidenote: we know … just kidding. Clichés, messaging and branding by teams are funny.

From the Sun-Times:

“We’ll see how he does [Tuesday],” Quenneville said. “I thought he had real good progress today. He got cleared for contact and handled everything pretty well. I thought that line looked good as well. We’re encouraged by today.”

And then this came from the Hawks later in the day, that Kane was cleared for full participation per team doctor Michael Terry. 

“Patrick Kane suffered a broken left clavicle on February 24, and underwent successful surgery to repair the fracture on February 25. Patrick has been working extremely diligently with his rehabilitation and has recently returned to full-contact practice without any difficulty. After discussions with Patrick and the team, and examining Patrick today, we collectively feel it is appropriate, with minimal risk, for him to return to full participation.”

So it appears that Kane, who was the NHL’s scoring leader at the time of his injury (64 points in 61 games) will be in against Nashville at worst at some point in their first round series. As if the doctor wouldn't have cleared Kane if Kane and the team told the doctor that Kane was ready to go. 

And where will Kane fit on the Hawks for Game 1, if he indeed returns for that juncture? CSN Chicago delivered this morsel of info from practice. 

Kane was back on the second line with Kris Versteeg and Brad Richards – the trio that was stellar from mid-November through December – on Monday. It was another indication that Kane could be ready when the Blackhawks open their first-round series vs. the Preds on Wednesday. Kane was speaking a little more cautiously than his coach but he’s definitely hoping to return this series. 

So that would stink for the Predators but will be amazing for the Blackhawks, who made moves for Antoine Vermette and Kimmo Timonen to deal with a prolonged Kane absence. Kane was supposed to be out 12 weeks from his injury. If he comes back for Game 1, that would be a little over seven weeks. His healing powers are magical, like his stick work with a GoPro camera on his head. 

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!