Patrick Kane is expected to join Team USA for the upcoming 2017 World Championships starting on May 5, reports Sportsnet’s John Shannon. The move comes after Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks were swept by the Nashville Predators in the first round of this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.
On the flip side, it may not be a done deal yet:
Sounds like Patrick Kane is going to take the weekend to consider USA Hockey's offer to play in Worlds.— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) April 21, 2017
This would be the third major addition to the American team after Sabres center Jack Eichel and Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau signed on the past two days. The first 15 players to the team, including Jacob Trouba, Dylan Larkin, Brock Nelson, Anders Lee, and Danny DeKeyser, were named last week.
This adds some major firepower to the U.S. for the tournament, which will run until May 21 in Paris, France, and Cologne, Germany. Being in Group A, the Americans are set to face Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Latvia, Slovakia, and Russia in the opening round robin.
This could be Kane’s first appearance at the Worlds, usually not a top priority for American players, since 2008. He’s also played in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, and the 2017 World Cup of Hockey. Over the course of 22 games in those various competitions, he’s recorded six goals and 15 assists.
The Blackhawks were expected to make another deep playoff run but find their offseason vacation starting early. Kane finished his four games against the Predators with just one goal and one assist, although he racked up 5.75 shots on goal per game as he tried to keep Chicago’s offense afloat.
Now he might get to team up with Gaudreau and Eichel, two of the best young American talents in the game, before really starting his summer. Maybe that will give Chicago fans a bit more to root for than the 2017 playoffs did.