NEW YORK — For 16 years, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews went hand in hand. They broke into the NHL together, won three Stanley Cup together, and had been the two constants since the dismantling of Chicago's core from the dynasty era.
On Thursday, it's going to be the first time in Kane's NHL career that he will look around the locker room and not see Toews' nameplate. You can only wonder what that must feel like.
"It's weird," Kane said in his introductory press conference with the Rangers. "We've been together for so many years. I know he hasn't really been around the team lately, but it probably won't feel as normal as it usually does. We've had 16 years together; it was a great run. It's going to be weird not being around him."
Kane is going from memorable one duo to another, reuniting on Artemi Panarin on Broadway. The two of them are expected to play on a line together in Kane's Rangers debut at Madison Square Garden.
"Today was the first time I'd seen him in a long time," Kane said. "Just being able to be around him and hanging out with him, he's a fun guy to be around and definitely missed that over the past five, six, seven years, whatever it's been.
"Today just picked up right where we left off and hopefully it's the same on the ice. It might not go as smooth as everyone thinks it's going to go, I'm sure there will be some bumps in the road, but hopefully in due time we can figure it out."
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