CHICAGO- Over the past few weeks, many have started paying more attention to the stat line when it comes to No. 88.
With each point, Patrick Kane was drawing closer and closer to the 1,000th of his successful NHL career. On Saturday, the magic number was all the way down to two, with any combination of assists or points against the Maple Leafs putting him in the unique NHL club.
In the first period of that game in Toronto, Kane got the primary assist on Brandon Saad’s goal but was held scoreless the rest of the way, forcing him to wait another night to get the milestone. For most of Sunday’s game against the Jets, it looked as if the forward may have to wait till Tuesday to get another shot, as a number of great chances on goal failed to produce a point.
But like he has most of his career, Kane found his way onto the score sheet in the third period, and in the process, cemented his place in the history books as well.
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With 5:46 left in the game, Kane had the secondary assist on Saad’s second goal in as many days to reach the 1,000 point mark for his remarkable career. He got the milestone in his 953rd game, doing so with his 620th assist, which coupled with his 380 goals makes him a rare “Millennium Blackhawk.”
As planned by teammate Jonathan Toews, the entire Blackhawks’ bench emptied and joined Kane on the ice following the score. They stayed out there for a few minutes in a rare celebration for an assist, but considering the circumstances, it was well worth it.
“It’s a special moment,” said Kane of his teammate’s celebration. “Obviously there is great leadership in this room and, like I said, to share with guys like ‘Duncs’ (Duncan Keith), and ‘Tazer’ (Toews), and ‘Seabs’ (Brent Seabrook), and ‘Crow,’ ‘Saader’ (Saad), guys that have been here a while, obviously some young guys over the past few years that have had some success – DeBrincat and Strome. It’s fun to share it with those guys.
“I was at the bottom of the circle there and I got pushed back pretty far up against the boards by all the guys – and I’ll never forget that. I’ll never forget that moment, and I told the team that after.”
Kane becomes the fourth player in team history to reach the 1,000 point mark, joining Stan Mikita (1,467), Bobby Hull (1,153), and Denis Savard (1,096). He also becomes the 90th player in the history of the National Hockey League to have at least 1,000 points over the course of a career.
“It’s a great franchise and there’s been a lot of amazing players that have played here. When I think of some Americans, you think of (Chris) Chelios and (Jeremy) Roenick and guys like that, so it’s special when you hear that stuff,” said Kane. “I’ve been very fortunate to play for Chicago, get drafted here, be put in a position where you’re counted on to score points, and be in offensive situations.
“So a lot of things went right for me.”
In the midst of a mid-career renaissance, Kane now has 38 assists and 24 goals in 50 games this season, one in which he was named an NHL All-Star for a ninth time. This comes on the heels of the most productive season in the forward’s history, one in which he had a career-high 110 points in 81 games.
“It was unbelievable,” said Saad of the 1,000th point. “It’s awesome, what a guy.”
What a moment it was on Sunday night when Kane joined the millennium club with all his teammates there to celebrate.