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Red Wings' Patrick Kane looking forward to fun, emotional evening in return to Chicago

Ted Kulfan, The Detroit News on

Published in Hockey

DETROIT — Patrick Kane has had many unforgettable moments in his illustrious hockey career and Sunday will likely be another special one.

When the Red Wings visit Chicago's United Center Sunday, it'll be the first time Kane will have played a game in Chicago since being dealt at the trade deadline last season to the New York Rangers. The Rangers had already played in Chicago at that point in the schedule.

Kane had hip surgery last summer and didn't sign as an unrestricted free agent with the Wings until Nov. 29 — when the Wings were in New York, and hosted Chicago the next day though Kane didn't play for another week.

Still, this will be Kane's first trip into Chicago and after the career he had there — along with it being the night the Blackhawks retire Chris Chelios' jersey — and should be an emotional evening.

"It's going to be a fun night in general," Kane said.

After three Stanley Cups won in Chicago, and numerous team and individual accomplishments, it'll be a good opportunity for Kane to reflect.

"It was incredible," Kane said of his time in Chicago. "When you go through it you don't realize how lucky and appreciative you can be. We had some players on that team, and the great thing about that team was, as close as a group as it was, there was a lot of inner competition. We always wanted to prove our worth and we were never satisfied.

"I was fortunate and lucky to be drafted by that organization and team and what we accomplished was great."

Kane was dealt at last year's deadline as the Blackhawks fully jumped into rebuilding. Kane agreed it may have been the correct time for both parties.

 

"It was a great run and we were at the point in time for the organization and myself that it was probably good to start fresh and just enjoy something different," Kane said. "Even the last year or two it was kind of in a rebuilding phase. It was exciting for me to get a chance to play in New York and I appreciated that experience to do something different."

Kane has been everything the Wings could have hoped for, adding a goal and assist in Saturday's 6-1 victory over St. Louis. Kane has been a point-per-game player, with 11 goals and 15 assists in 26 games.

The potential of this Wings group excited Kane before he signed, and continues to months later.

"Really excited and happy to be here," Kane said. "(Excited) about the opportunity of being part of this group and what we could accomplish this year."

Alex DeBrincat was with Kane for five seasons in Chicago and the two created some lasting memories on the ice, as they are beginning to do with the Wings. DeBrincat is looking forward to seeing the United Center jumping for Kane's return.

"He's given them so much to cheer about and so many memories," DeBrincat said. "I'm sure the crowd will be real loud."

Coach Derek Lalonde has talked the last several days about the unique opportunity it will be to be up close for Kane's return, and the Chelios ceremony, in Chicago.

"I'm ecstatic about Sunday for a lot of reasons," Lalonde said. "Obviously Patty returning also. It's such an honor to be in this league and you rarely get opportunities to be part of something like that."


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