NASHVILLE – Sometimes it’s hard to believe Chicago’s Patrick Kane is just 25 years old just by his list of his on-ice accomplishments.
He’s scored a Stanley Cup winning goal – in overtime no less. He has won a Conn Smythe Trophy. Oh yeah, and he’s a millionaire – his next contract signed this summer and kicking in next year will pay him $84 million over eight seasons, starting in 2015-16.
Still there is a sense of youth with Kane. He sometimes seems cursed to always at very least look his age, or younger – who could forget his Abe Lincoln beard from the 2013 playoffs.
And there is that stigma of immaturity that always haunts him.
Anyway, we had a chance to sit down with Kane before Chicago’s Thursday’s game against Nashville – oddly the last two teams in the Western Conference yet to lose in regulation.
Q: Now that (former Flyers) defenseman Chris Pronger is working for the NHL, do you think you will get your Stanley Cup puck back? (Kane’s winner in Game 6 of the 2010 Cup Final against Philly has never been found. It has been surmised that Pronger is the one who stole it).
Kane: (Laughs) I don’t know if he was the one who took it. I know he was the one who was taking the pucks in all the games in the finals. He would probably be the first culprit, but I actually think it was one of our guys from the team who took it back in 2010. I’ll try to hunt that one down.
Do you still think about the fact that you don’t have the puck? I mean, this is basically an achievement every little kid dreams of playing in their driveway.
Yeah, I mean it’s different. If we had the puck in the first place it would probably go to the Blackhawks because it had been 49 years since we had won a championship. But it’s something at some point in time you hope shows up just for the sake of seeing it. Who knows if that will be the puck or where it has been? What are you going to do about it now? It is kind of in the past and I think we still have the moment to live on and the uniqueness of scoring that goal … whether the puck was in or not is a pretty amazing story.
At a young age, you’ve accomplished pretty much everything a hockey player can. You scored a Stanley Cup winning goal. You’ve won a Conn Smythe Trophy. What still motivates you?
It’s easy to be motivated around here because there are so many guys in our locker room who have that ‘never say die’ attitude. I think it wears off on us. I think the big thing is you really have one chance to do this … to play hockey for a living, you have one chance at your career and you have to take full advantage of it. I still love playing the game and it’s amazing we can do this as a so-called ‘job’ and it’s amazing we can come to the rink every day and play the game we love. We don’t take it for granted. We keep improving every year and take advantage of it.
You signed a long-term contract extension this summer. How do you not stay complacent in spite of having such financial and job security?
It’s nice and amazing to be a part of this organization for another nine years, including this one. I think both of us wanted to be in this situation where we’re here for a long time, and we both wanted to have that. I think with signing that deal and being here for eight years and the amount it was at … I think you have to prove yourself every day and every game to kind of live up to that. It’s just there and it’s something you know is there. I guess it’s obviously very nice and honoring we get to be a part of this organization for a long time. But you have to prove to everyone that you made the right decision by keeping you around.
Around the United Center, there are statues of Blackhawks legends. Ever think of what a Patrick Kane statue would look like?
We do the bobblehead with my mouthguard hanging out of it or some kind of celebration going on. Maybe it will be something with that.