Kane ready to go, but plans to take it slow


Kane ready to go, but plans to take it slow

Friday, Sept. 16, 2011
Posted: 1:21 p.m.

By Tracey Myers Blackhawks InsiderFollow @TraMyersCSN
Patrick Kane could play tomorrow if he needed to do so. And with his left wrist fully healed, he would love to do just that: practice and play full board, no holding back at all. Because Kane wants to take the next step in his already strong career and he wants to do it now.

Everyones been saying that to me, All right, youve done well first four years. Now take the next step, he said. Thats what I want to do.

For that hell need optimum health; hes pretty close to it. So as Kanes ready to steamroll into another season, those around him are making sure he doesnt do too much, too soon.

Kane was still sporting the splint on that wrist when he talked to the media on Friday, but its purely for precautionary purposes and improving his range of motion. Hes participated in pre-camp drills and hes taking shots again. Hell be skating in two-a-day sessions when training camp begins Saturday at the United Center.

But hell err on the side of caution with contact.

Right now its just getting (the wrist) stronger, getting range of motion back. I was happy with what the doctors said. They always saw a lot of progress, Kane said. If it was the middle of the season right now and I wanted to play, I could play.

But its not the middle of the season. We know Kane is big on preseason, big on getting that jump-start to the season. We know he loves to get in those preseason games to fine-tune things. But general manager Stan Bowman made that clear to Kane in their Thursday night talk that theres no preseason rush.

He wants to go full tilt right away, Bowman said. His injurys healed very well but were going to play it cautiously. He wants to do it all right away. Hes on a mission to have a really great season this year and hes looking forward to showing us what he can do.

Kane will have his time for greatness in the regular season. Hell be well served taking it slowly in the preseason.

Tracey Myers is's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should Blackhawks' One Goal be to tank?


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should Blackhawks' One Goal be to tank?

On the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Danny Parkins (670 The Score), Seth Gruen (Big Ten Unfiltered) and Jason Goch (SB Nation Radio) join Kap on the panel. 

The Blackhawks drop their 8th straight. So should their “One Goal” be to tank?

Plus, Jon Lester isn’t a fan of the new pace of play proposals. Is he right?

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here:

With playoff chances all but over, what can Blackhawks do at trade deadline?


With playoff chances all but over, what can Blackhawks do at trade deadline?

After losing their eighth straight game and falling 12 points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference, the Blackhawks' playoff chances have dipped to a season-low 0.2 percent. It would take a miracle for them to extend their postseason streak to 10 at this point, where getting just one win seems like a monumental task.

The Blackhawks were probably never really going to be buyers before the Feb. 26 trade deadline even if they were still in the hunt, but it's hard to imagine they had plans to be sellers. Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has reiterated over and over again that he's confident in this group, one that's getting younger and faster.

But now they've reached a territory where they have to consider selling off spare parts simply to coup some draft picks or prospects that they could perhaps retain or use as sweeteners in the offseason.

So which players could the Blackhawks realistically sell?

Let's start with the two players getting rewarded with top-six ice time as of late: Lance Bouma and Tommy Wingels.

These are two players that play with high energy and go to the greasy areas, something that's important in the playoffs when scoring goals becomes more difficult. They can clean up rebounds. Wingels, particularly, likely has more value and it's showing given his recent success on the power play as a net-front presence guy. He also isn't a stranger to the playoffs with 54 games under his belt compared to Bouma's five.

Both of them are pending unrestricted free agents and are making $1 million or fewer, which certainly works in the Blackhawks' favor considering they won't cost much and their cap hits are easy to fit in on any interested team.

Maybe a team would like to take a flyer on Tomas Jurco, who's a restricted free agent at the end of the season, but that would be a move somebody makes as more of a longer term project than strengthening your depth for a playoff run this spring.

On the back end, Michal Kempny and Jan Rutta could be in play for a contender looking to ensure some depth as a sixth or seventh defenseman. Again, each of them are making less than $1 million so it's a low-risk situation for clubs whose Plan A or B fall through and may be interested in at least getting something.

While they don't have much NHL experience, they're both 27 years old and have played the sport long enough to know what they can bring to the table.

Once Feb. 26 passes and potential roster spots open up, expect the Blackhawks to start calling up the kids. 

Matthew Highmore deserves a look after leading the Rockford IceHogs with 20 goals and 32 points. John Hayden has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 15 games since joining Rockford, and belongs in the NHL. Even Anthony Louis, who's taken a step forward, should get a taste of the action as he continues his development.

Carl Dahlstrom is getting his shot now. Erik Gustafsson is in that process as well. Gustav Forsling had another extended look during the first half of the season before the team decided it would be wise to continue his development in Rockford, where he can play top-pairing minutes.

All of this would give the Blackhawks a better indicator of how they can approach the upcoming offseason, and which young guys they can possibly add into the mix for 2018-19. But first, we have to see how the end of February plays out before making those calls.