Patrick Kane got hurt last night. Rumour is, he’ll be out six-to-10 weeks.
This isn’t good news for Kane, who is the NHL’s leading scoring leader and was on his way to a first Art Ross Trophy and maybe league MVP trophy, or for the Chicago Blackhawks, who are looking to win their third Stanley Cup in five seasons.
But really, if Kane is out for two months, and the Hawks start to plummet down the West’s standings, shouldn’t that be proof that he really is the NHL’s MVP?
The Blackhawks have played through boo-boos to Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp and others before, and never once did it derail their season(s). But Kane’s a different story, and he’s taken a real step in 2015 to become more in many hockey mind’s eyes than just a scorer or a puckhandler, which is what too many thought of him before.
You never see just how valuable a player is to his team than when they don’t have him anymore, and we’re about to see just how much Patrick Kane means to Chicago.
Lindros jumps into Internet quicksand
Here’s a great seven-minute bit from John Oliver earlier this year on HBO, where he lampooned some guy in Spain for trying to have his personal history from the Internet – and then became known worldwide as the guy trying to have his personal history from the Internet, and everyone soon figured out why he wanted his personal history removed. Basically, the guy had a lot of trouble with debt in the late 90’s.
“The only thing I know about him is the only thing he didn’t want me to know,” said Oliver.
Well, welcome to the quicksand, Eric Lindros.
The former NHL star, concussion hog, and almost Hall of Famer is reportedly suing ex-NHL referee Paul Stewart and the Huffington Post, because Stewart published a story from a few years back that cast a less-than-stellar light over a then-young Lindros. (Lindros was a 19-year-old rookie at the time of the story, Stewart says.)
The column goes, Stewart brought Lindros a bunch of photos to autograph after the game. He brought a bunch to Mark Recchi, too. The photos were to be given to a charity auction. Recchi signed them. Lindros didn’t want to sign them and, Stewart says, he ripped them up.
Not really an complimentary tale. But basically, this story had evaporated into the Internet’s very detailed but short attention span – I read it when Stewart published it last July, and I had since forgotten about it completely. (If you asked me to re-tell it to you before today, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without consulting Google.)
But now that Lindros is reportedly suing both Stewart and HuffPo for $250,000, saying the story defames him and his image, I know all about it again.
And Lindros, in an effort to accomplish the exact opposite, has unwittingly tied the anvil to his ankles and jumped into the deep end.
Canucks’ no-names getting it done
Ryan Miller. Nick Bonino. Alex Burrows. Chris Tanev. Kevin Bieksa. Frank Corrado.
All of those guys above, they’ve been injured for bits or stretches. Bieka is still out, Bonino returned last night, and Miller will miss four-to-six weeks (reportedly) with a knee injury.
And in their wake, we’re learning new last names out here in Vancouver…
Kenins. Clendening. Biega. Lack and Markstrom. Horvat.
Okay, you probably already knew their last names. But to guess that any of the team’s current rotating cast of pirates would be so able to steal points from the loaded teams they’ve been facing, you’d be a ‘yes man’.
The Canucks are getting it done right now, winning with a slew of rookies and call-ups from the American league, all of them with varied backgrounds – Biega played his first-ever NHL game on February 16 after toiling for four seasons in the AHL, for example, while Bo Horvat is a highly prized prospect, drafted ninth overall in 2013 as the return for franchise goalie Cory Schneider.
Ronalds Kenins was a little-known Latvian acquired last year from the Winnipeg Jets and tossed to Utica to be forgotten, but he played his way up and has scored to stay north of Seattle.
Adam Clendening had a stellar World Junior career and was shipped to Vancouver as a part-time Blackhawk. Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom were irrelevant in an end to a lost 2014 season, and they’re once again shoved onto the coals, with Miller out until April. (So far so good, with Lack making 40 saves in a 2-1 win over the Bruins last night.)
But instead of caving and crumbling, this Canucks team has gone 7-3 in its last 10. And we’ve been shocked, kind of, at just how well the rookies and the unappreciated have stood up to big Boston or shifty Chicago or the experienced and always on-fire New York Rangers.
Maybe, though, these guys were underrated to begin with. Maybe they always deserved to be in the ‘Chel, and maybe they still will when Bieksa and Co. return.
Maybe Kenins and Kassian are better competing against each other, proving they deserve their ice time and earning it democratically, instead of being appointed (for past accomplishments) to the final 12.
The Vancouver Canucks and their fans are finally discovering what real depth is and that, surprisingly, their team actually has it. And we wouldn’t have seen it if our tenured players stayed healthy.