Over the past two seasons, few duos have been as dangerous as Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin, as the two terrorized opposing defensemen with a chemistry that not many teammates in the NHL could match.
That chemistry translated to off the ice, as well.
So when Panarin was dealt last week to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for former Blackhawk Brandon Saad, it's understandable that Kane was caught slightly off guard.
"My first reaction was pretty emotional," Kane said Friday on Sportsnet's The FAN 590. " ... 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."
Success in the playoffs, no. But, the pair did kill it in the regular season.
Over 162 regular-season games, Panarin racked up 61 goals (Kane assisted 45 of them) and 90 helpers. Over that same span, Kane put in his two best offensive seasons, registering 80 goals and 195 points to go along with a Hart Trophy.
In only two years in Chicago, Panarin was able to elevate Kane's game and cement himself as one of the most dangerous offensive players in the NHL. A fact that isn't lost on No. 88.
"Me and Artemi are very close. I mean, not only on the ice but off the ice as well," Kane 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."
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