One has yet to smile in a picture, while the other enjoys mullets and disturbing cabbies in Buffalo during offseasons.
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane could not be more different, even on the ice in terms of their style of play. However, both are integral parts of the Chicago Blackhawks. The organization has climbed from a dismal period during the late 90’s-early 2000’s to a cup contender each year – mostly thanks to these two.
That’s why both were signed to eight-year, $84 million contracts earlier this month; they both even have the same agent in Pat Brisson.
Both won it all in 2010 and 2013. Even though Kane scored the game winning goal in the former, Toews was named winner of the Conn Smythe. Kaner won it only three years later. Both have been named all stars. Toews is a Selke award winner, Kane is a Calder award winner. Batman and Robin have turned Gotham into Chicago.
“You just can’t get star players. You can’t get them, and once you do get one, it’s so hard to win. So you’ve got star players here that have shown the ability to win, they want to be here, it’s not even a discussion point. I’m just thrilled that we’ve got two of them,” Hawks’ GM Stan Bowman said, after the pair signed. “I mean, most teams would die to have one of these players on their team. We’ve got two of them here, so we’re very fortunate, and the rest of the stuff will work itself out.”
In comparing the two, you could say that Captain Serious has two Olympic golds, while Kane only has a silver. But we’re not focusing on that, we want to look at NHL skills. What other pairs could contend with Kane and Toews? Are there any dynamic duos close to their talent?
Toews has amassed 440 points in 484 games. Kane, a little more, with 493 in 515 contests. Should Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have been as healthy through their careers as the Blackhawk pair, they could have increased their point totals astronomically. Mario Lemeiux and Jaromir Jagr part two – a Canadian hero and an unattractive European who can barely speak English – still have impressive records. Evgeni Malkin is above a point-per-game average, with 632 points in 518 games. Sidney Crosby takes it one step further with 769 in 550. If anyone besides Toews and Kane should be titled the dynamic duo of the NHL, it’s these two. They just have much less hardware.
Both of these next guys could have been named co-captains of the Red Wings upon the departure of Nik Lidstrom. Though both Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk were injured this past season, their longevity and continued rate of production is worthy of heavy applause. Datsyuk has scored 804 points over 824 bouts, while his Swedish counterpart has totaled 720 points in 759 games.
Another ancient pair: Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. The number one and two overall picks of the 1997 draft seem to always be competing – even switching C’s. San Jose coach Todd McLellan took it away from Marleau upon his arrival behind the bench in 2009, saying Marleau could “earn it back” at camp. Well, given the Sharks’ poor playoff record and Marleau’s muteness in the dressing room, it went to Joe. Since Thornton took over, his Sharks have been knocked out of the first round twice. Marleau has scored 931 points in 1247 games, but Thornton is almost at a point-per-game average – 1194 in 1207. With trade rumours swirling, this duo may not be together for much longer.
Just a little south of San Jose, is another duo who were also both selected to Team Canada in 2010, like Thornton and Marleau. Because of their strong chemistry, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry were again put on the 2014 Olympic Squad, and earned yet another gold. But as stated, this is about NHL accolades. The Ducks hit gold when they drafted this duo, both in the first round of the 2003 draft – a new Kariya and Selanne to bring the cup to Anaheim. Captain Getz has 608 points in 633 contests, while Peterborough Perry has notched 547 points in 655 games.
Honorable mention goes to 842 points in 1010 games Henrik and 805 points in 979 games Daniel. The Sedin twins know where the other is at all times on the ice, sure, and it makes for some pretty plays. But the man who drafted them himself, Brian Burke, has stated that Henrik can play without Daniel, but Daniel cannot play without Henrik (funnily enough, Captain Henrik was drafted third to his twin brother’s second overall). Thus, they are not a duo. They are a single. And a half.
Some of these pairs could eventually be compared to Trottier and Bossy, Gretzky and Kurri (or Messier), Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg, or Eric Lindros (pre-concussion) and John LeClair (pre-trade-to-Pittsburgh). These partners could even be compared to Batman villains.
Though Sakic has the long nose and face of the Riddler, Lindros would probably make the best Bane.
Eric: “Hit. No more. Like hockey. But fail.”
Does that make Joel Quenneville Alfred the Butler?