By Alexander Monaghan
UPDATE 9/27/11: Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa have been confirmed to suit up for the Blackhawks tomorrow night.
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UPDATE 9/27/11: With only three preseason games left on the Blackhawks’ calendar, the team likely wants to get Kane ready sooner rather than later. As always, ’20 Cent’ sounds positive about his recovery but is unsure he will return to the lineup tomorrow or later in the week. From The Daily Herald:
“I went to the doctor (Monday) and just another good day, kind of checked up and skated for the first time without the splint today, so things are moving pretty good right now,” said Kane, who still is working his way back from July left wrist surgery. “Don’t know if we’ll rush for Wednesday or not, but we’ll see.”
Interesting to see if the team “rushes” Kane back from his injury or continues to play it safe. Even more interesting is where he will play. Yesterday he practiced between wingers Andrew Brunette and Marian Hossa — a troika of interest to say the least.
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UPDATE 9/26/11: At this point in his recovery, Patrick Kane is clearly either at full strength or very close to it. Right now the focus actually is directed at what position he will play upon returning. From The Chicago Tribune:
“We might try Kane at center,” Quenneville said. “He’s been playing center throughout scrimmages and practices now. We’ll see. He’s played center most of his life. Defensively, he’s gotten better as he’s grown … down low on the walls. It’s something we’re going to at least take a look at.”
Should Kane also qualify at center, the Chicago Blackhawks would have an excellent 1-2 punch down the middle. In addition, it would boost his value in fantasy hockey as he would then qualify at two positions. Feel free drafting the former 1st overall pick as early as the second round.
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UPDATE 9/18/11: Kane took the ice today, practicing with his team while wearing a splint. The controversial winger, who is still recovering from offseason surgery, scored two goals and added a helper while dekeing his way around his teammates. Although the winger’s wrist is clearly not at full strength, he remains optimistic for his chances of playing opening night. From The Chicago Sun-Times:
“It felt good to be out there. You’re still pretty cautious out there. You don’t want to put yourself in any situations where you’re going to get hit or something could go wrong. I was still pretty cautious out there, but it’s competitive hockey, so you’re going to be competitive out there and try to do some good things. Overall, I thought [Sunday] was a pretty good day on the ice.”
If Kane is on your shortlist, feel free to draft him without hesitation as he should be able to mimic his typical 25+ goals and 70+ points.
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UPDATE 9/16/11: Seems like Kane will miss less time than originally expected. From The Chicago Tribune:
Kane was scheduled to have the splint on his left wrist removed Thursday as he recovers from July 19 surgery to repair a fractured wrist. The winger will be limited as camp begins but still hopes to play in up to four of the Hawks’ seven exhibitions. He says doctors have told him “for the start of the season, no question at all I’ll be 100 percent.”
A much better prognosis than two weeks ago. Draft accordingly, poolies.
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UPDATE 9/5/2011: From The Chicago Tribune:
Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane said Monday he’s “a little ahead of schedule” in his recovery from left wrist surgery and hopes to play in up to four of the team’s preseason games.
Kane has gone anywhere from the second to fourth round in standard drafts this season. Feel free to confidently select/keep him as the right wing claims to be at full strength by the beginning of the season
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Training camp? Patrick Kane doesn’t need to show up for training camp.
Instead, the 22-year-old right wing will not rush his recovery from last month’s wrist surgery in order to make training camp. From ESPNChicago.com:
“I’m not going to rush anything,” Kane stated. “We still have a lot of time. My goal is to be ready for the opening regular-season game. Obviously you’d like to be back in training camp but more importantly, the day is Oct. 7 for our first regular-season game. That’s the date I’m working for. No rush because things are going pretty well right now.”
Last season, Kane produced 27 goals and 73 points in 73 games. His steady production ranked fifth among qualified right wings — if your league classifies Claude Giroux as RW — which would keep most keeper/dynasty owners bullish on their investment. As a fringe first-round pick, Kane usually would be considered a safe bet, but missing training camp, if it actually happens, should be a concern.
If we use any recent players who held out or started the season late– Brandon Dubinsky, Patrick O’Sullivan, Mats Sundin, Teemu Selanne — as an example, then Kane’s production could and likely will go lower than his previous season. Training camp generally serves as a clean sheet of ice in which a player figures out what is working and not working. While an excellent player, especially one the calibre of Kane, can adapt to this, he would be the exception and typically not the rule. He will be missing a step in his legs and likely need training camp to get his wrist shot back to snuff.
If you have that late first rounder or early second, where Kane typically is selected, you may be tempted to preemptively choose a safer option. An elite center like Pavel Datsyuk or Eric Staal will likely still be available, and while they hold less attractive positions their health will create less roster uncertainty.
Then again, Kane could “rush” himself in order to be ready for training camp and render this entry useless. If that is the case, draft away!
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