At Stanley Cup Final media day on Thursday, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman talked about the emergence of Patrick Kane and what it's meant to the Chicago team as they prepare to play in their first Cup Final since 1992.
You know, I remember back when Patrick was drafted. He was from Buffalo, obviously I grew up in Buffalo. I didn't know him, though. I met him once prior to us drafting him. My father knew the family a little bit. I remember he came to training camp in September of that year. And as the camp wore on, internally we knew he was going to be on our team.
So we started thinking he was only 18 years old at the time. We were trying to decide what do we want to do. Because it's not an easy thing for a kid of that age to be in a big city like Chicago.
So some different ideas were tossed around. I remember we went to him in early October, and we asked him about the living situation. His answer to us was interesting. He said I'm just trying to make the team here. I don't even want to talk about. I'll live in a hotel all year if I have to. I want to play in the NHL. At the time he wasn't-- he was concerned about maybe getting sent back to Junior. So he didn't even want to talk about it.
Then the season began, and at that point it was actually just-- it was an idea, because he had been in the hotel for six weeks at that point. I said why don't you come over, maybe stay at my place for a bit, have a couple of home?cooked meals. And so he agreed to that, and we were into the season by that point.
So he seemed to enjoy it. I have two little boys. He was living in the basement. He was an unassuming little kid, just trying to make the team and stay in the NHL. There was still talk, even when the season began, are they going to keep him past the ten?game mark or are they going to send him back?
He was so focused on staying in the NHL. We knew he wasn't going anywhere. We wanted to kind of keep that away from him. We let him think about that, and before you knew it, it was the end of October. I think he was the Rookie of the Month that year. He had a great start to his career.
So it just kind of took off from there. He was comfortable. I remember talking to him and his parents along the way, and they just wanted to allow him to focus on hockey and not have to worry about what it's like to be living on your own. That was how it all materialized. It was a great experience for him and for me to get to know him. He's a special player. He's a great kid. I know him very well. And he's played a big part in getting our team to where we're at.