In March 2021, the hockey world’s eyes were on the Chicago Blackhawks for their game against the Dallas Stars, not so much because of the teams but because of Patrick Kane. The Blackhawks cult hero and superstar reached 1,000 games in the league, and it was celebrated greatly.
Tributes for Kane poured in from all corners of the world, and he deserved it. Kane won three Stanley Cups as a Blackhawk in 2010, 2013, and 2015, winning the Conn Smythe as the playoffs MVP in 2013. Kane also won the Hart as the league MVP and the Art Ross as scoring champion in the 2015-16 season.
But out of all the tributes to Kane that day, none was more surprising and heartwarming than the one from goalie legend Dominik Hasek.
’The Dominator’ is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest NHL goalies of all time and one of the most universally well-liked figures in all of hockey. And it just so happened that Hasek had an unexpected connection to Patrick Kane. Kane grew up in Buffalo, where Hasek dominated in the ’90s for the Sabres. As Kane was about to play his 1,000th game in the NHL, Hasek sent him a tribute video with a special message that was shared on the Blackhawks’ social media platforms.
”1,000 games is a big accomplishment for the 8-year-old boy from Buffalo, who’s dad rented me a car and said his son is going to be a really good hockey player,” Hasek said.
But to Hasek’s big surprise, Kane’s dad was wrong about his future vision.
”Lots of dads say stuff like that. But your dad turned out to be the only one who was wrong in a good way. You didn’t turn out to be a good player, you turned out to be one of the best ever,” Hasek said.
Kane’s first shootout goal in the NHL was actually against Dominik Hasek, in Kane’s just second game of his career. However, according to Hasek, he had no intention of saving it.
”Just know that I let your first shootout-winner because of your dad, and the good deal he gave me on the car. I knew he would appreciate it. Congratulations, Patrick, you made your dad look really good.”