Patrick Kane on Blackhawks' Connor Bedard: ‘He's worth the price of admission'

Patrick Kane on Blackhawks' Connor Bedard: ‘He's worth the price of admission' originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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For a decade and a half, Patrick Kane made the Chicago Blackhawks must-watch television because he could do something special on any given night. There might not be a more perfect nickname that fits a hockey player better than 'Showtime' with Kane.

Now, Connor Bedard is providing those electric moments for the Blackhawks, and Kane gave the 18-year-old phenom quite a bit of respect when talking about Bedard ahead of his return to the United Center on Sunday with the Detroit Red Wings.

"He’s been amazing," Kane said. "He’s been great. We talk about the fans and the city and how it’s such a great sports town, he’s in a great spot for that. I think the fans deserve another long run of a great hockey player and hopefully great teams behind him. But I think it’s a great way to kind of start the rebuild and to start with a player like that definitely accelerates it a little bit.

"He’s been special, I’m sure you guys see covering him every night. He’s worth the price of admission. He does special things. He’s going to be a great player for a long time."

The respect is mutual between Kane and Bedard, who recently gushed about Kane. Bedard, of course, imitated Kane's heartbreaker celebration at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship with Team Canada.

Bedard has been looking forward to Kane's return to the United Center all week.

"I’m just pumped for the video tribute," Bedard said. "I think it’s going to be pretty nasty. He had some sick highlights here. I’ve watched every one of his mix tapes probably 100 times, with his stuff. I’m pumped for that.

"For him, it’s going to be a pretty special night with Cheli getting the jersey, too. It’s going to be a cool night, for sure."

Kane was asked about those comments and Bedard watching almost all of his highlights on YouTube.

"It's cool," Kane said. "That's the cool thing about today's day and age. If I had that access when I was younger, I would be on there all the time, watching highlight tapes of players around the league. ... It's a cool way to learn and practice, as well. Always cool to hear that stuff."

Bedard has all the skill in the world, but what Kane appreciates the most about him is his work ethic. Both of them are cut from the same cloth in that regard.

"He's got so much skill and his shot, very creative out there but when I think about him, I think about the work you have to put in to be at that level, right?" Kane said. "Some people think it’s God-given talent or things like that. You go through it yourself when you’re younger.

"[Patrick Sharp] would always make fun of me and say I was silver-spoon fed because I was a first overall pick and got all these opportunities and I would always tell him, ‘Hey, you should’ve worked harder when you were a kid, that’s what gave me those opportunities.’ He always liked that one and he quieted down pretty quickly after that.

"But that’s what I think with Connor. It seems he loves the game, loves practicing, loves working at his game. All that stuff pays off."

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