The Conn Smythe trophy winner passed along an honor to Goal Tender Corey Crawford, whom Kane said was the best player in the playoffs. The coherent speech and nice gesture are quite a departure from 2013.
The Chicago Blackhawks have made appearances on the cover of Sports Illustrated over the past few months, with the team being hailed as the franchise that "saved hockey" back in March and then with Marcus Kruger being featured on the cover during the playoffs.
That trend continues this week, as star forward Patrick Kane appears on the issue of the magazine previewing the upcoming NHL season. From NHL.com:
"Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane will be on the national coer of the magazine that hits newsstands Wednesday. Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby will be on a regional cover.
"The issue will feature a 20-page preview of the 2013-14 season, including scouting reports, conference rankings and top storylines entering the season."
Ever since the NHL lockout, Kane has been one of the most talked about hockey players on the planet. His continued maturation after several off-seasons full of various shenanigans has been a big story that's inspired a tidal wave of columns praising his growing-up process. He has also been appearing in all sorts of media, including in a recent Sportscenter advertisement for ESPN and in a viral video of his puck-handling skills for Bauer hockey equipment.
The Sports Illustrated cover itself may cause some Hawks fans concern, as the issue in question does pick the Hawks to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.
The dreaded "cover curse" hasn't really manifested itself with the Hawks the last two times they've been featured on it, with the team still winning the President's Trophy despite the laudatory cover celebrating their 24-game point streak to begin the 2013 season, and then winning the Cup after having Kruger on the cover during the playoff run.