With news that Patrick Kane’s ankle/knee injury could end his regular season, the concern becomes how well Kane will bounce back from the injury.
Kane has dealt with an ankle issue before, suffering a similar injury on Dec. 30, 2008 in Detroit. Of course, Kane came back and skated 17:51 against the Wings at Wrigley Field in the Winter Classic two days later, but would then be sidelined for one week.
How did Kane perform when he returned from that ankle injury?
When he returned on Jan. 8, Kane had an assist and skated 17:41 in a 2-1 loss in Denver. Kane’s next point came seven games later, a power play goal in Anaheim. Kane had only five points in the his first 16 games following the ankle injury in 2008-09, but those were different days for the player and the organization.
The Hawks were chasing a playoff spot with legitimate hope of qualifying for the first time in a decade in 2009, whereas five years later Kane has two rings at home and the team has been in the playoffs since that 2008-09 campaign.
There isn’t a desperate need to rush Kane – or Brandon Saad for that matter – back into the lineup. With 12 games left in the regular season, the Hawks are 13 points ahead of the Wild, who currently sit in fourth in the Central Division. The reality is that the Hawks will play the Avs in the first round of the playoffs, with the first game being in either Chicago or Denver.
Whether or not the Kane injury opens up both cap space and a roster spot for Teuvo Teräväinen is another conversation; the Hawks are clearly excited by the prospect of having him skate with the NHL team at some point in the not-too-distant future. But the Hawks are comfortably in the postseason, and can battle the Avs for home ice in the first round while Kane fully recovers.