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Red Wings Kane: Detroit Was in my Heart



Patrick Kane, chicago Blackhawks
Patrick Kane won't be playing for the Red Wings tonight against Chicago.

There certainly was a time when leaving the Chicago Blackhawks for the Detroit Red Wings might’ve seemed completely implausable to Patrick Kane.

That time, though, was a long time ago.

“I think it was such a rivalry for the Blackhawks and Wings,” Kane said. “Probably back in the 80s or 90s and early 2000s. Even when we had to play them in the conference finals in 09 and then playing them again in the playoffs in 2013, it was always a team that we were striving to beat.

“Even organizationally it was always someone we were looking up to and striving to be.”

Now he’s part of the Red Wings organization. Kane is still capable of looking back fondly upon his successful days with the Blackhawks. However, he isn’t expecting to be overcome with emotion while watching his new team play his old team at Little Caesars Arena on Thursday.

“When you’re looking for the right situation for yourself, you kind of put that stuff aside a little bit,” Kane said. “I loved my time in Chicago, I loved everything about being a Blackhawk.

“Sometimes you kind of move on from different things and you look for different opportunities and situations. This seemed like the right one for me.”

Being With Red Wings Feels Right To Kane

As a UFA holding the option to sign with any NHL team, Kane was admitting that there was some unseen force pulling him toward the Red Wings.

“Detroit was in my heart,” Kane said. “When it came around to making the decision, I always kind of felt like it was in the back of my mind. If I was thinking about another team, Detroit was the next team popping up. It just made sense for me.”

Kane was living in the Detroit area while in high school, playing first with Honeybaked and later with the USNTDP. He billeted with former Red Wings player Pat Verbeek and was frequently coming to see the team play at Joe Louis Arena.

“It’s a great organization,” Kane said. “It’s run by one of the best players of all-time in (GM) Steve Yzerman. There’s so many legends that have played for the franchise – you can go down the list, Gordie Howe, Nick Lidstrom, Yzerman, (Sergei) Fedorov, (Pavel) Datsyuk, (Henrik) Zetterberg, on and on.

“They call it Hockeytown for a reason. I felt like I needed to be in a market where hockey is popular and it can get the city and the crowd excited. Hockey is big thing here in Detroit. Kind of excited about adding to that and playing my game and hopefully bring a lot of excitement to the city and the fans the organization and my teammates.”

Kane Excited About Return To Chicago

That night won’t be happening Thursday. Kane might not be overtly emotional about seeing his new club face his original club. He’s already circling Detroit’s February 25 visit to the United Center to face the Blackhawks on his calendar, though.

“I think there’s gonna be a pretty special night in Chicago,” Kane said. “I think it’s late February there when (Chris) Chelios’ jersey is going up (to the rafters in retirement). I’ll be playing against the Blackhawks that game.”