Hawks' Kane wins Conn Smythe Trophy
Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane won the Conn Smythe Trophy after Chicago defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2 to win the Stanley Cup in six games on Monday.
"I think there were a lot of guys that deserved it," Kane said on NBC just after the announcement. "I think [Corey Crawford] might have gotten snubbed, to be honest with you. It's a hell of an achievement. I think it speaks more for my team than for myself, personally, playing with great players."
Kane led the Blackhawks with 19 points in the playoffs. He had nine goals and 10 assists in 23 playoff games. He had three goals and two assists in the six games against the Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals. He finished with seven goals and two assists in the final eight games of the playoffs.
"It was the best year of my life just playing with these guys," Kane said on NBC. "Starting off the season like we did with so many wins, and the pressure of winning the Presidents' Trophy and hanging onto that pressure all the way to the end, you're down 2-1 in the last minutes and then you come through with a win. It's unbelievable."
Jonathan Toews was the last Blackhawks player to win the award. He won it after producing seven goals and 22 assists during the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup run in 2010.
It's quite a change from the end of last season, when Internet photos of Kane partying in Madison, Wis., led to renewed questions about his makeup.
He also was arrested in his hometown of Buffalo, N.Y., in 2009 after an altercation with a cab driver.
He entered this year with something to prove, and he was one of the NHL's top players from start to finish, helping the Blackhawks to the league's best record.
Kane, a three-time All-Star, played for Biel in Switzerland's top division during the lockout, so he had a head start on much of the league when the players and owners reached a new labor deal in January. He also had a healthy offseason after undergoing surgery to repair a broken left wrist in July 2011.
He finished the regular season with 23 goals, matching Toews for the team lead, and led the Blackhawks with 32 assists and 55 points. He also showed improved ability on defense, helping turn Chicago into one of the stingiest teams in the league.
Kane, who played without his trademark mouth guard after going without one in Switzerland, has long been one of the most popular Blackhawks, both for his fun-loving image and his considerable ability on the ice. He had the winning goal in Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup against Philadelphia, lifting the franchise to its first championship since 1961.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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