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Kane returns to Chicago with Red Wings

Andy Devlin / National Hockey League / Getty

CHICAGO (AP) — Patrick Kane looks rejuvenated at the moment in his first season with the Detroit Red Wings.

Perfect timing for his long-awaited return to his first NHL home.

Kane leads the Red Wings into Chicago on Sunday for his first game against the Blackhawks since he was traded to the New York Rangers a year ago. The 35-year-old winger has four goals and six assists in a seven-game points streak since returning from a lower-body injury.

Kane's Chicago homecoming coincides with the Blackhawks retiring Hall of Fame defenseman Chris Chelios' No. 7 jersey in a pregame ceremony before the matchup with the Red Wings.

“It'll be fun to spend time with my family and just enjoy with them the night before," Kane said this week, "and then obviously the game and just hopefully settle in pretty quickly and just focus on the game and play well and enjoy that too.”

Kane became a free agent after finishing last season with the Rangers. He had hip resurfacing surgery in June and worked his way into shape before signing with Detroit in November. He has 11 goals and 15 assists in 26 games with the Red Wings.

Kane had an immediate impact after he was selected by Chicago with the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft. He won the Calder Trophy for NHL rookie of the year after he had 21 goals and 51 assists during the 2007-08 season.

It was only the beginning.

The rise of Kane, Jonathan Toews and defenseman Duncan Keith helped the Blackhawks put together the best stretch in franchise history, winning the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015. Chicago also made it to the Western Conference Final in 2014, losing to the Los Angeles Kings in an epic seven-game series.

“I think when you go through it, you don’t realize how lucky and appreciative you can be,” Kane said. “But, man, I mean we had some players on that team and, you know, I think the great thing about that team is we were really close as a group, but there was a lot of inner competition, too.”

But the Blackhawks have struggled of late, and Kane waived a no-movement clause in his contract to facilitate the trade with New York last year.

“It was a great run,” Kane said. "I think we were kind of at the point in time when it was, I think for the organization and myself, it was probably good to start fresh and just enjoy something different, right?

“It was exciting for me to get a chance to play in New York last year and kind of appreciate that experience and do something different,” he continued, “and being in Detroit and going through it a second time, it feels a little bit more comfortable.”


AP Hockey Writer Larry Lage in Detroit contributed to this report.



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