The only club he really wanted to go to.
The main news of the week: Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane reunited with the Rangers, while the club even fit into the salary cap . But this transition has another important detail: for the sake of the trade, the Chicago striker refused a clause in the contract that prohibited the exchange. Moving to New York was a priority option for him – also because of Panarin.
Kane and Panarin became friends in “Chicago”: they dined together and joked – even with a language barrier
They met in 2015, when Panarin had just arrived in the NHL from SKA. The signing of such a rookie had an immediate impact on Chicago’s play and Kane’s stats. An indicative moment is the match between Chicago and Edmonton (4: 2) in November 2015. Kane then scored four points, and then during the interview he laughed throughout the locker room: “It’s fun to play with that guy over there.”
The Athletic talked about the beginning of the relationship between Panarin and Kane and highlighted two points. First: Kane immediately considered Panarin a great talent – and this pushed him to work himself. Second: sometimes they specially dined together and got to know each other better. At the time of his arrival in the NHL, Panarin knew only a little English, but quickly took up the study.
The club hired a translator for Artemy, but in everyday life he relied on other players – Anisimov and Tikhonov helped in the first season. Both were fluent in English and translated Panarin’s words for foreigners. Kane, even in such conditions, found a place for jokes: “How to communicate with Panarin? I would speak to him in English with a Russian accent.”
The team always laughed when journalists entered the locker room. They were looking for Panarin, and received the answer: “He does not like questions.” In such cases, partners were included, but this never concerned the personal communication between Panarin and Kane. Sometimes they sat separately for 20 minutes. Patrick chose simple words for Artemy and learned New Year’s greetings in Russian.
Initially, Chicago was worried about how Panarin would adapt to the NHL, but his game eventually successfully combined with the actions of Kane. The American jokingly hammered in Panarin one thesis: if possible, you should always give in to the 88th. Artemy waved and threw at the gate, but Kane did not give up. So they played.
Sometimes Kane did not need to talk to Panarin at all – he enjoyed simply being around. Patrick explained: when two of these players play together, they always start communication off the ice. He left a lot of impressions: “It’s fun to fool around with him, talk about hockey and other things. He became my friend when he was here.”
Panarin called his relationship with Kane wonderful, and in recent years he missed him a lot. It is not for nothing that the social networks of the Rangers separately highlighted the greeting from Artemy: “Patrick, Patrick, congratulations.” And at the time of the first training session of the American, he separately removed Panarin’s reaction.
In the NHL, they worked their goal magic at speed, but ended up failing in the playoffs twice.
For Panarin, crossing with Kane meant a lot – he saw him as a player similar to himself even before signing a contract in the NHL. Panarin was worried that due to the risky style of play, he would start making mistakes and sit on the bench. In an interview with Forbes, he recalled that his opinion had changed because of Kane: “I understood: if the coach allows him to play like that, then I probably will succeed.”
Everyone writes about the excellent understanding between Panarin and Kane. Kane himself revealed in detail the details hidden behind this thesis. He found a versatile player in Panarin: he did not lose the puck, completed attacks and gave passes from any position. Kane and Panarin felt each other and interacted at high speeds – so they dominated in any matches.
Kane had such emotions from going on the ice with Panarin: “When we played together, it seemed to me personally that this is the same hockey. We were two players who combined talents and found common ground. Nothing was planned – we understood each other on the go. Playing with him looked like something natural. It’s like instinctive chemistry while playing with someone.”
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