The Blackhawks superstar will turn 32 later this month, but he has yet to show any signs of slowing down.
Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane has been playing some of the best hockey of his career in the last couple of years. In 2018-19, Kane set career-highs in assists (66), points (110), even-strength goals (35), and average time on ice per game (22:29). The Blackhawks No. 1 pick in the 2007 NHL Draft was on pace for another 100-point campaign last season with 84 points (33 goals, 51 assists) through 70 games before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the remainder of the year on March 12.
But before these two stellar seasons, Kane tallied 76 points (27 goals, 49 assists) in 82 games during the 2017-18 regular season, which is not bad by any means, but also not great for his high standards. Insert trainer Ian Mack, who added the Blackhawks’ winger as a client following his sub-par year to help transform his body.
Mack recently joined NBCSports Chicago’s Blackhawks Talk Podcast to talk about the progress Kane has made since being added as a client.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God, how old are you?'”, Mack said when he first worked with Kane. “I think he was 28 at the time and I was like, ‘Ah, that’s not great,’ for where his hips were and how his shoulders were moving. And then I thought about [it] a little more and I was like, ‘Wait a minute. This guy is moving at 55 or 60 percent of what he could be moving at and he’s considered one of the best in the world?’ I started laughing and he’s like, “What’s so funny?’ I’m like, ‘Nothing.’ And he’s like, ‘No, no, tell me.’ And I was [like], ‘Alright. I don’t know, man. I just wish I could do my job at 60 percent and still be the best in the world. Like, that would be amazing.’ And he started laughing.
Following their first year together, Kane put up better numbers than he did in 2015-16 when he took home the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP. The 2019-20 regular season was more of the same for the Buffalo, New York native before COVID-19 hit North America. Kane’s resurgence in his early 30s has Mack thinking there is still plenty of gas left in the tank.
“He might not like when I say this, but I’ve said this before: I think he can play till he’s 50, and I think that a large portion of that is how much he loves the game and how much he puts into it, how talented he is, how skilled he is,” Mack said. “And then the other portion of that is, the science is always evolving and we’re on a continuous hunt to continue to get better and give these guys the best opportunity to do that and I believe that our portion of it is also only going to get better at the same time he’s getting better… So I don’t see him slowing down anytime soon.”
As for how long Kane can keep up his point-per-game pace in the NHL, Mack does not seem to think that is coming to a stop anytime soon either.
“I wouldn’t put it past him that he can play at an elite level — an ELITE level — well into his mid-40s because of how he can contribute and what he can do. None of that’s going away. Like, he’s not beating people because he’s just lightning-quick and nobody can catch him, he’s beating people because he’s better at the sport and that’s not going to go away with age.”