Patrick Kane and the drive for his son to see him at his best, like Joe Pavelski has with Nate
The two active highest-scoring American players go head-to-head tonight in Dallas.
There have been many remarkable things about Joe Pavelski’s career.
He’s close to a point-per-game player at 39, with 25 points in 26 games this season. He’s 10th all-time in NHL points by an American with 1,026 and seventh all-time in goals with 460. By the end of this season he’ll be higher on both of those charts.
And Pavelski has done all of this as seventh-round pick, who you could use as prime example of what not to do in a learn-to-skate class.
For Pavelski, though, one of the best parts of the career success has been the chance for his son Nate to enjoy it.
Nate is 13, when Joe went to the NHL All-Star Game in Vegas in 2022, the younger Pavelski was running from locker room to locker room, trading sticks and getting them signed.
Nate Pavelski not only knows what dad does for a living, but he’ll have a pretty good picture of just how good he was and lived it in person.
That’s not common for hockey players or professional athletes in general.
Most professional athletes will retire before they turn 30. Unless a player has a child in their early 20s, that kid likely won’t have a great recollection of seeing dad at his peak.
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Many times when an NHL player has a kid, the only real in-person memory they have of dad are at the tale end of a career. The Pavelski family is the exception to the rule.
Which brings us to Patrick Kane, the only active American player with more points than Pavelski as the two meet tonight in Dallas.
There’s been Patrick Kane overload in the past two weeks, from lengthy videos on ESPN and full features on his grueling recovery from hip resurfacing surgery.
You don’t have to read a niche hockey site like this one to know about the future Hall of Famer trying to reclaim his career right now with the Detroit Red Wings.
It’s probably been mentioned at some point in those stories, but part of Kane’s motivation in his return has been to have what Joe and Nate Pavelski have in Dallas right now.
Kane’s son, Patrick Kane III, was born in November of 2020. He recently turned 3 and was at Kane’s Red Wings debut Thursday against the San Jose Sharks.
Even the sharpest three-year-olds don’t remember much, and they certainly don’t remember intricate details. Kane’s son was at the game in Chicago last season when his dad scored his final NHL hat trick for the Blackhawks.
The toddler was excited, it was fun for dad to see him there, but as Kane admits, “he had no idea what a hat trick meant.”
So each game for Kane now, every successful step back from the major hip surgery, is a chance for his NHL career to continue as Patrik Kane III grows and starts to understand what’s happening in front of him when he goes to the rink.
“I would like to get back to a level that I know I can play at, but not just for me, but for him so he can see that and actually get excited about that,” Kane said. “Whether it’s scoring a goal or making a nice pass, I know he’s not gonna understand that right now. But hopefully I can keep playing where he’s old enough to understand it. Right now I just hope he enjoys being there.”
When Kane signed with Detroit he spent the first week by himself, his son and girlfriend Amanda Grahovec arrived late last week. They were still living in the hotel last week and were planning on looking for a place to live through at least the remainder of this season soon.
“The fact I wake up this morning and he’s got his new Red Wings jersey on, it’s cool stuff like that,” Kane said. “I guess he was really excited when the team was scoring goals last night, but he’s also got other interests right now like construction trucks and things like that.”