Patrick Kane has the chance to make history.
The 2015-2016 NHL season has already been a historic one for the Chicago Blackhawks forward.
His 26-game point streak was the longest in the NHL since Mats Sundin put up points in 30 consecutive games way back in the 1992-1993 season. Kane’s 26-game point streak is also the longest such streak generated by an American player, shattering the record held by both Eddie Olczyk and Phil Kessel, who had an 18-game point streak. He also holds the franchise record for the 90-year-old Blackhawks, with points in five more games than team legend Bobby Hull.
On April 10, the end of the NHL regular season, Kane might be making more history.
The last time a Chicago player won the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading scorer was in 1968, when Stan Mikita put up 87 points.
The 1960s truly was one of the best eras for the then-named Chicago Black Hawks, despite only winning one Stanley Cup in that time period. In an eight-year span from 1960 to 1968, a Black Hawk player won the Art Ross seven times, with Hull winning the award three times and Mikita winning it four times.
But since 1968, Chicago has not seen the Art Ross. In fact, no player has really come close to challenging the dominance displayed by Hull and Mikita. After coming close to bringing the Art Ross back to Chicago (Mikita was fourth in scoring in 1968-1969 and third in 1969-1970; Hull ranked second in 1968-1969 and fifth in 1970-1971), only Jeremy Roenick (tied for fifth in the 1993-1994 season) and Denis Savard (third in the 1982-1983 and in the 1987-1988 seasons) were within the league’s top five in points.
In the 2012-2013 season, Kane ranked fifth in scoring with 55 points. Last year, many wondered if he could have won the Art Ross if he had not broken his clavicle with only three months remaining on the schedule.
For the first time since the team changed its name from “Black Hawks” to “Blackhawks”, a Chicago player might have his name engraved on the trophy.
Currently, Kane leads the NHL scoring race by 17 points (76 points to Jamie Benn’s 59). However, Kane has a real challenger in a newly resurgent Sidney Crosby.
If they each play the rest of the season like their last 10 games, Crosby will beat Kane 113-110 in the scoring race.
— Sean Gentille (@seangentille) February 9, 2016
Should Kane maintain his scoring lead and remain healthy, the Blackhawks might be home to the NHL’s scoring champion for the first time in 48 years.
Michelle Timian fell in love with hockey after watching a game between the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs in 2006 and has been following hockey ever since. She is a graduate of Western Illinois University with a degree in Creative Writing and is more comfortable in front of a keyboard than on skates. She also blogs for the New York Rangers at blueshirtsunited.com.