“My first reaction was pretty emotional,” said Kane, who joined Sportsnet The FAN 590’s Hockey Central @ Noon on Friday to talk about his summer so far.
Kane admitted to feeling “a little bit of disappointment” at seeing Panarin go, given the chemistry they’d had together on the ice.
“You want to keep building on that,” he explained. “It’s too bad that we didn’t have that success in the playoffs to build on that even more, but as time goes on you understand the trade, and obviously we got a hell of a player back in Brandon Saad, and he’s gonna bring a lot to our lineup as well.”
Still, even if Kane has some perspective a week after the trade went down, he’ll miss having Panarin around.
“Me and Artemi are very close. I mean, not only on the ice but off the ice as well,” he said. “We like to kind of goof around with each other and I think he’s a great kid. He’s gonna have a great future. And, you know, sad to see him go, no doubt.”
For the second year in a row, Kane is experiencing a longer summer than he’s accustomed to. The Blackhawks exited the playoffs in the first round once again, and Kane has already had a full summer, even though a new season is still months away. He spent a couple of weeks in Mexico to decompress and “be away from the noise,” and he made an appearance at the draft in Chicago, where he announced his team’s first-round draft pick, Henri Jokiharju.
“It was obviously an honour to have the draft here in Chicago,” said Kane, who admitted to having already forgotten Jokiharju’s name. “I think I did OK,” he said of the experience.
While he still has a long summer ahead of him, Kane is already back to training.
“I’m actually jumping on the ice next week,” he said, noting his eagerness to be ready for a new season. “Trying to get things dialled in a little bit.”