When Patrick Kane was announced as the NHL’s most valuable player Wednesday night, it marked yet another American hockey milestone, as the Chicago Blackhawks winger became the first Hart Trophy recipient both born and developed in the United States.
A native of Buffalo, New York, Kane surged to his first career Art Ross Trophy as the league’s scoring champion in 2015-16, with a career-high 106 points (46G, 60A). He was also among the initial group of forwards selected to represent Team USA at the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. The first overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Kane played his youth hockey in New York and Michigan, highlighted by appearances in the USA Hockey Youth National Championships and a record-breaking season with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program in 2005-06.
The 27-year-old is the second Team USA alumnus to claim Hart Trophy honors, following Brett Hull, who earned both the Hart Trophy and the Lester Pearson Award (now known as the Ted Lindsay Award) in 1990-91 after scoring an astounding 86 goals – third most in NHL single-season history – with the St. Louis Blues. Hull, who played collegiately at the University of Minnesota Duluth, went on to win gold with Team USA at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.
Patrick Kane was also awarded the 2016 Ted Lindsay Award as the league’s most outstanding player (voted on by members of the NHL Players Association).
Notes: While Kane’s mark on history is secure, it’s worth noting that the second-ever Hart Trophy recipient – Billy Burch in 1924-25 – was American-born. The big lefty-shooting forward was born Nov. 20, 1900, in Yonkers, New York, but he moved to Toronto as a youngster, playing provincial football, lacrosse and hockey … On two occasions, Americans have finished second in the Hart Trophy voting: Boston Bruins goaltender Frank Brimsek (Eveleth, Minnesota) in 1948 and Washington Capitals defenseman Rod Langway (Randolph, Massachusetts) in 1984. Both enjoyed Hall-of-Fame careers and represented the U.S. on the ice, Brimsek unconventionally as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutters hockey team in 1943 and 1944, and Langway as a four-time member of Team USA (1981, 1982, 1984 and 1987).
Kane joins youth players in practice