Patrick Kane Uses His Unorthodox Skill and Talent to Change the NHL

Patrick Kane happens to be one of the most decorated athletes in the world. With an MVP title for both the regular season and the playoffs as well as three Stanley Cups, A Calder cup, a Ted Lindsey award and more – Kane has already created a legacy for himself that will most likely grant him a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Patrick Kane is a vibrant, flashy, and dazzling player with a skill-set unparalleled by others. However, Kane’s career was not always projected to look like this. Before being drafted in 2007, Kane was both small and skinny entering into a league where size and height was really important. Many scouts looked at his size and weight as something that would be a hindrance towards his game. However, instead of trying to adjust his play to fit the league, Kane changed the league to fit his style of play. He began controlling the puck in the offensive zone and thus controlled the way defenders attacked him. Kane’s style of play forces defenders to not attack him full on, but instead wait and try to read what Kane will do next. He has an ability to slow the game down by using his hockey IQ to see the options around him. Players cannot defend him the way they defend other players: “I’ve never seen a player [like Kane] control the puck so well, that he can slow down with the puck and have the other 7 players on the ice slow down with him” – Wayne Gretzky. He uses his size and speed with the puck to control the flow of the game. Kane understood that he was not the strongest or tallest player on the ice, and so he instead worked on his speed, skill, and hockey IQ to beat defenders. Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins noted that: “most times there’s a player like him there’s going to be guys close to him but he always finds a way to kind of find that open ice. That’s just hockey sense and his awareness.”

Along with changing the notion of what size and weight a hockey player should be, Kane also brought back a lot of the entertainment value that the league had lost. Kane not only dazzles with his game play, but his goals are usually accompanied by entertaining on-ice celebrations. From the “Heartbreaker” to the “Shot Gun”, Kane’s celebrations are a part of his overall appeal. Kane has a soaring self-worth. He is confident in his style of play and wishes every night to get fans out of their seats. His style of play and the energy he brings to the game led to a wave of new young players modelling their game play after Kane: “Patrick Kane, for me, being American and watching him since he’s been in the league, he’s one of my favorite players today” – Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Kane changed what a hockey player was supposed to look like as well as embraced the entertainment value of the sport. He showcased that you don’t need to be a certain size or weight to play the game of hockey on a professional level. He focused in on what he was good at and stuck by it until other players were forced to adjust their play in order to defend him. Thus, through his own skill and talent, Kane made sure that the league embraced a new breed of hockey players.


Author: Idil Dahir

Idil Dahir is a freelance writer and editor living in Toronto, Ontario. She is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto in which she completed a specialist program in English. Idil enjoys everything from Films, TV Shows, Sports, Novels, and Comic Books. She is currently working on her career in film and TV production as well as her freelance work. If you would like to contact Idil you can reach her at: idilmdahir@gmail.com


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