As part of the NHL Centennial Celebration, renowned Canadian artist Tony Harris will paint original portraits of each of the 100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian as chosen by a Blue Ribbon panel. NHL.com will reveal two portraits each Monday in 2017.
This week, the portraits of forward Patrick Kane and defenseman Duncan Keith are unveiled in the 45th installment.
Patrick Kane has accomplished a lot for someone who has yet to reach his 30th birthday.
He's won the Stanley Cup three times with the Chicago Blackhawks, scoring the overtime goal in Game 6 of the 2010 Final that ended a 49-year championship drought. That came two years after he won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie, three years before he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the 2013 playoffs and six years before he became the first U.S.-born player to win the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer. He also took home the Hart Trophy as regular-season MVP, the first member of the Blackhawks to win those trophies since Stan Mikita in 1967-68.
For good measure, the 5-foot-11, 177-pound right wing also won the Ted Lindsay Award, given to the League's outstanding player as determined by the NHL Players' Association.
In his NHL100 profile of Kane, author Bob Verdi wrote about how the Blackhawks landed one of the cornerstones of their three championship teams with the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NHL Draft and what makes him such a special offensive player:
Video: Patrick Kane first American to win Art Ross Trophy
"Before the 2007 draft, Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon met with [Jonathan] Toews, who had been drafted the previous spring. Toews had played against Kane on the amateur level and fully endorsed Tallon's notion that this sprightly prodigy who scored 62 goals with 83 assists in 58 games with London of the Ontario Hockey League was a future star.
"Kane never spent a day in the minor leagues, and had 21 goals and 51 assists for the resurgent Blackhawks in 2007-08, their first winning season since 2001-02. Almost instantly, he exhibited a sixth sense; he envisions a play before it materializes, as if he's already seen it on film. When Kane lures one or two checkers, he sends a pass through a keyhole to a teammate who might be crowded or open.
"When Kane decides to shoot, uncanny highlights result. He has scored by picking the tiniest corner of the net from any angle. He has scored while on horizontal hold or after swiveling on his spin-o-rama, turning completely around toward the cage, then flipping a backhand beyond a befuddled goalie. Then there are those forays when he hones in on the blue paint and appears to be too close to finish, only to lift the puck vertically, as if it is propelled by helium or a string from above, to the roof of the net."
Kane is someone artist Tony Harris had experience painting in the past.
"I had painted Patrick Kane a few years back as the winner of the Ted Lindsay Award, so I had a good idea of what I wanted to do," he said. "He is such a creative player and 'sneaky' may not be the right word, but he has the ability to be in the right place at the right time."
Kane was one reason the Blackhawks went from a struggling team to a three-time Stanley Cup champion. Another is Keith, a workhorse defenseman who played on each of Chicago's three Cup-winning teams and won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2015, as well as taking home the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman in 2010 and 2014. He also helped Canada win the gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Unlike Kane, who was the first player taken in his draft year, Duncan Keith wasn't selected until the second round (No. 54) of the 2002 NHL Draft. He joined Chicago in 2005 and has been among the League's top defensemen for the past decade.
Keith's success is the culmination of a lifelong plan. He was upset when his fourth-grade teacher wanted to know if he had a Plan B in case his desire to become an NHL player didn't pan out. His father, Dave, said Duncan didn't want to take a summer job one year because it would interfere with his training.
In his NHL100 profile of Keith, Verdi wrote about the defenseman's sensational performance in Chicago's run to the Cup in 2015:
Video: Duncan Keith defensive star for three Cup winners
"Keith starred on all three of his championship teams with the Blackhawks, but his performance throughout the 23-game postseason run in 2015 stood apart. He averaged 31:07 of ice time per game during a two-month marathon that included five overtime games. One of them -- Game 2 of the Western Conference Final against the Anaheim Ducks, a 3-2 Chicago victory -- became the longest in franchise history at 116:12, of which Keith played 49:51.
"In that year's playoff opener on the road against the Nashville Predators, Keith scored the winning goal in a 4-3 double-overtime victory after the Blackhawks had fallen behind 3-0 in the first period. Then in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, Keith fired a drive on Ben Bishop, the towering goalie for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Bishop shunted it with his pad, but because he is forever in motion, Keith followed his shot, gathered the rebound and deposited the puck into the net, breaking a 0-0 tie. That goal was the winner in a 2-0 victory that brought the Blackhawks their third Stanley Cup championship in six seasons. It was Keith's third goal of that postseason, all of them game-winners.
"'You want to keep being a part of these things, because they never get old,' Keith said upon receiving the Conn Smythe Trophy. 'You don't get awards like this without being on great teams with great players.'"
Harris says he especially enjoys watching defensemen like Keith because of their two-way abilities.
"From Bobby Orr to Denis Potvin, I'm not sure there is a more interesting set of skills than those of a defenseman who can score points and take care of business in his own end," he said. "It's like a football player being both Jim Brown and Dick Butkus. I think Duncan Keith fits that mold."