Patrick Kane has been called many things during his five-year career.
“Maturing leader” hasn’t often been one of them.
But perceptions seem to be changing as Kane, 23, has assumed a sort-of guidance counselor role in Chicago. Given the number of youngsters that have dressed for the ‘Hawks this season — Brandon Saad (19 years old), Nick Leddy (20), Jeremy Morin (20), Brandon Pirri (20) and Andrew Shaw (20) — Kane says he’s taking it upon himself to teach the kids the ways of the NHL.
“They’re great guys, easy to get along with. They’re really enjoying their time in the NHL and are really enthusiastic and just excited to be here,” he told the Chicago Daily Herald. “It’s nice to be around them — fun to have that youthful energy and excitement.
“I know I’m only 23 years old, but I’d like to think I’m one of those guys that takes them under my wing and shows them the ropes a little bit.”
Admittedly, it’s funny to hear Kane talk like this. He was, after all, at the forefront of limo-gate, taxi-gate and an eponymous category at Deadspin (which included the “Patrick Kane Is More Alcohol Than Man At This Point” photo gallery.)
Some would contend there’s not a worse mentor for up-and-coming NHLers, but Kane contends he’s a good choice — because he’s been there.
“When I first came in, Kevyn Adams was one of those guys for me,” Kane said. “I worked with him in training camp. He tried to show me the ways of the NHL.
“But probably the main guys were Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp, Brent Seabrook — guys who had been here a bit and kind of knew what it was like to be a young guy coming in.”