Kane stars in training camp, commercials

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville laughed as soon as he said Patrick Kane's name.

Quenneville had been asked which players stood out to him during the Blackhawks' three days of training camp at Notre Dame. The question was meant to get Quenneville’s opinion on players outside of the Blackhawks superstars, but Quenneville was simply being honest.

“Kaner,” Quenneville replied and then laughed. “He was pretty good today.”

Kane put the finishing touches on a productive training camp on Sunday, accounting for the primary assist on three goals during a scrimmage. Add those assists with the three goals he scored on Friday and Saturday, and he was easily the team’s points leader over the three days.

Kane put little stock in his numbers, but he was pleased to get the season under way.

“It’s fun to get out here and play in a game-like atmosphere and game pace,” Kane said. “But it is the beginning of training camp. I think the most important thing is getting yourself back in game shape, kind of feeling the puck, feeling the things you can actually do out there and be successful within the game. It was fun coming down here. I thought it was a great experience once again to come down to Notre Dame, be a part of the first couple days of training camp down here. Have some good skates, have some good scrimmages and good workouts.”

What may help Kane get off to a strong start this season is having skated more this past summer than the year before. He played in a couple different leagues in his hometown of Buffalo this summer.

Kane’s summer also included shooting some commercials, including ones for Gatorade and McDonald’s. He spent time with LeBron James during the McDonald’s shoot. Kane has talked in the past about being a big fan of James.

“When we were on set, we talked a lot,” Kane said. “I was surprised he knew as much as he did about the Blackhawks and myself and hockey in general. It was cool to talk to him. It seems like he’s very professional. He knows how to do a lot of these commercials. He’s done a bunch of them. He seems to get it all on one take. It makes it easy on all of us.

“I was surprised at how nice and genuine he was to be honest with you. Really nice guy.”

Kane doesn’t take for granted those opportunities either.

“It’s cool,” Kane said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be in some of those commercials. I probably have to thank Jonny Toews for turning a few of them down, and I get to do them. I’ve had fun with them. It’s cool when you’re tuning into ESPN or something and see it on TV. That’s always exciting.

“I think when you’re growing up you think none of that stuff will ever happen to you. To be honest with you, you’re kind of hoping in the back of your mind that it kind of does. Yeah, when you’re kid playing hockey, you’re not thinking about doing commercials with other athletes or meeting them or hanging out with them or anything like that. You’re just trying to get as far and good as you can at hockey. That’s kind of what I enjoyed as a kid was just playing the game. I never thought about that stuff too much. I guess there’s perks to everything. Obviously being a good player in a big market and a great organization, that always helps too.”