Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — There’s a soft spot in Patrick Kane’s heart for the United States armed forces.
Just days after winning hockey’s greatest prize, the Stanley Cup, with the Chicago Blackhawks, and being named the most valuable player in this year’s playoffs, Kane was sitting at home watching ESPN. It was July 4 and the station was showing reunions between members of the military and their families.
The experience brought tears to his eyes, even after rewinding four or five times and watching it on repeat. Through the emotions, though, there was a moment of clarity for Buffalo’s current hometown superstar. He knew exactly how he’d kick off his one day with the cup once it rolled around.
“I saw the (show) on ESPN (July 4) with the military families,” he said. “It just hit home with me pretty hard, and my family, too. I knew at that moment I wanted to bring the cup to the military anywhere and we’re lucky enough to have one here in Buffalo.”
So with the help of members of the 914th Airlift Wing, the 107th Airlift Wing and friends and families of military members across Western New York, Kane rolled onto the tarmac at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station Saturday and once again hoisted the famous trophy overhead.
Kane’s serious about his commitment to the armed forces. There are several hockey teams in the NHL who work with the military as a way of giving back. Some, like the Sabres, offer tickets to troops and honor them with a special announcement during the games.
But in Chicago, it’s a little different. They honor two military members in special ceremonies each game. It’s a part of his Blackhawks experience he enjoys.
“Being an American kid, I’ve been pretty up-to-date with the military and what’s been going on,” he said. “But I think they do so much for us, anything I can do to give back to ... the military. In Chicago, we honor a military veteran before the game and another one halfway through the third period, so things like that go a long way.”