One of the ironic nuances of Patrick Kane's NHL dominance over 13 seasons is that many of those that now sit beside him in the Blackhawks locker room grew up idolizing No. 88 as they dreamed of NHL careers of their own.
It's a surreal feeling that many still have trouble believing:
It's crazy. You watch him growing up all those years and finally being able to share the ice, you see how really special he is and the plays he makes is pretty incredible. He's obviously one of the best players in the league all these years for a reason, so it's awesome to see and it's fun to play with.
It's amazing. I have his jersey at home that I got as a kid as a Christmas gift and had his little action figures and all that sort of stuff. You pretend that, 'Oh I'm Patrick Kane' in the basement wearing his jersey and now I'm playing alongside him and playing with him. It's a pretty surreal thing to say the least. To be a part of a guy's career like that is pretty special.
I haven't got him to sign that jersey, but I have some stuff that he has signed for me that I'll keep. It's fun that even though we're teammates, I'm still a little bit of a fan.
It's pretty cool. I kind of idolized him and 'Tazer' growing up and to be in the same locker room, sitting across from them and getting to pick their brains everyday and talk to them, it's a pretty unique and cool situation.
I'm just fortunate enough to be here and obviously he's closing in on a pretty amazing accomplishment and he deserves it. He works hard every day and wants to be the best player every time he steps on the ice.
When I was younger, I had him as an idol. I had a few D men as well, but he was my idol as a forward. It's almost a dream, like 'Am I awake?' or something (getting to play with him). It's so cool. And now you start knowing him as a human being as well. He's one of a kind.
He was one of my favorite players. Watching him growing up was unreal to see him on the ice, every time he was making plays. Of course you look up to those kind of players (since) I wanted to be a playmaker. He was just so good. He's been unbelievable every season since he came into the league. It's cool, actually surreal, that I'm on the same team now as him (after) watching him on TV growing up. It's a huge accomplishment to get to 1,000 points, that's incredible. He's got many more to come, too.
He was always my favorite player, between him and Crosby. I was always a smaller guy, still am, but he's someone that I looked up to and my dad always would tell me to watch a guy like Patty Kane just because he's a smaller guy, but the way he moves out there creates space for himself and does all those little things. He's someone that I looked up to and I'm sure the same goes for hundreds of young guys across the league. It's obviously pretty cool to be here to be part of this team with him and play on his line and assist on some of his goals and vice versa. It's always cool to see. Something that you can show your kids one day hopefully that you got a chance for that.
It's super cool to just be around these guys, especially 'Kaner', to learn from these guys. You watch them growing up, watch them win Cups and to be able to learn from these guys is a true pleasure and they're great people. I just really appreciate how open and welcoming he is.