Buffalo Sabres fans were disheartened to learn that Patrick Kane had signed an eight-year, $84 million contract extension with the Chicago Blackhawks, a deal that will likely prevent him from coming home, Lebron-style, for the remainder of his NHL career.
But while the Buffalo native may not play for the local NHL team any time soon, Kane did swing through town on Monday to play for another local team: the Piranhas, one of the clubs in Buffalo's Performax Hockey League.
And while it may be Kaner's offseason, showtime doesn't take summers off. Note the boxscore:
5 goals, 5 assists, in a 13-5 victory. He matched the scoring from the Essex St. Pub singlehandedly. Poor Mike Magnifici did his best, but in the end, Kane made him look like Mike Mediocri, amirite y'all?
The league took notice of the ringer and his standout skill:
Granted, Kane's no Vinny Scarsella, what of his seven-goal performance, although I'd be willing to wager that all 5 of Kane's apples came on Scarsella goals. Still, the Blackhawks should look into Scarsella. After all, now that they've got Kane and Toews signed, they're going to build the supporting cast on the cheap. I'll bet Scarsella would come for league minimum.
All of this bolsters my growing theory that the only thing worse than an NHLer showing up at your pick-up game is a tiny NHLer. The big ones know how to coast. The little ones, however? They have no off-switch. When you're undersized, the only way you're getting to the NHL is if you compete harder than everyone else, and you're completely incapable of mailing it in.
One time I played against Cliff Ronning in a charity road hockey game. There were kids there. Ronning didn't care. You'd have thought we were playing a real-life game of NHLPA 93. The man has no intensity level below "all".
Anyway, this is one theory. The other theory is that Kane saw "Buffalo", observed the quality of play, and thought he was playing the Sabres.