Originally written February 23, 2012 on centericechat.com:


The Blackhawks are on a four-game high. It’s the best feeling in the world for some after the horrendous nine-game losing streak endured mostly on the road. Patrick Kane shouldn't be a target by the masses as being needed to be traded. Rumors have splashed and speculations have swirled. And, yet, for some reason, some folks are absolutely captivated and compelled to believe trading Patrick Kane would be for the betterment of the Chicago Blackhawks. Wrong. Not just wrong. Dead wrong. Yes, it seemed like he spent weeks at the 10- to 11-goal threshold. Let’s define Kane’s role with the Blackhawks. Last year he finished third on the team in scoring with 27, while Jonathan Toews had 32 and Patrick Sharp had 34, respectfully. In points, Kane finished second with 73 while Toews led with 76. Sharp had 71. Kane led with assist at 46, while Toews, with the stellar year he had last season, finished a shy 44. In his one season with the London Knights (2006-07), Kane lit the lamp 62 times, but had 83 helpers, for an astonishing 145-point season with Sam Gagner (35 G, 83 A) of now the Edmonton Oilers. Averaging Kane’s four full NHL seasons, his goal output is roughtly half of his assists. He walked into this season with 103 goals and 200 assists. So, he’s practically a two-assist-per-goal player. Nothing wrong with that. His 13 goals and 36 assists this season either means he’s just a hairline below his goal output or he’s producing more assists. Obviously his goal-scoring is in question, so there’s the argument. But it’s not terribly off. And, given the adjustments Kane has had to make this season: the wrist injury, and coach Joel Quenneville playing him at center, to name a few. Is Kane perfect this season? No. But is he producing? Yes. He’s currently leading the team so far this year in assists with his 36. His 13 goals puts him in the top six behind Viktor Stalberg (16) and Dave Bolland (17). With 49 points, Kane is still fourth behind Hossa (58), Toews (57) and Sharp (51). So, the argument that Kane isn’t producing is misleading. The other argument is that Chicago needs a goalie. They do not. Crawford is finally in his groove, and the Blackhawks are mending the gaps left in the blue line due to off-season acquisitions and a slew of injuries. Another argument is that Kane’s offensive ability can be afforded to let go because he isn’t a top 3 anymore, and that distinction is now among Toews, Sharp and Kane. Again, wrong. Playoff teams roll players of top 6s. The second special teams unit has to be as strong as the first, and the best of the best have four solid lines of depth. Getting rid of Kane is a puncture in scoring opportunities with his soft hands. And let’s not forget about when it matters most: the shootout. Kane is ranked 25th in the league in the shootout at a 60-percent success rate and tied fourth with two game-deciding goals. Shipping off Kane isn’t even a topic of conversation for Blackhawks management, and those who think it should be will be disappointed come trade deadline.   Matthew Wilson is editor of Center Ice Chat. Follow him on Twitter @Mattjw24. Be sure to also Like us on Facebook and to Follow our Tumblr page. If you'd like to contribute, or appear as a guest columnist, please email us at CenterIceChat@gmail.com.
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