The most-asked question when the Stanley Cup playoffs end is four words long: Is it October yet?
Well, good news, readers. October is upon us. And with it, the return of hockey season. But this doesn’t mean there are no more questions to be pondered.
In fact, it’s the opposite. Let’s pose some compelling questions about some of our local players competing with nonlocal NHL clubs.
1. How will Patrick Kane (Buffalo, N.Y.) be affected after the Blackhawks traded his two-season linemate and partner in pointscoring crime, Artemi Panarin, to the Blue Jackets?
Not much. Kane was a shining star in Chicago long before Panarin invaded his universe, and he will continue to be one. But there is a difference between "not much" and "not at all." In 2015-16, with Panarin riding shotgun and eventually winning the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year, Kane posted career highs in goals (46), assists (60) and points (106) and claimed the Hart and Art Ross trophies, plus the Ted Lindsay Award. Last season, Kane finished with career second bests in goals (34) and points (89). Without his trusted teammate, a dip in production should almost be expected, but then again, an angry Kane makes for one dangerous Hawk.