The term “milestone” originated with a similar story to how the word sounds; stones were used as mile-markers for travelers. These milestones were necessary and relied upon to help determine how far one has come, and the direction they are headed in for the future. In more modern times, milestones have been passed twice already, just this season alone, for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Patrick Kane is, without question at this point, a superstar in the NHL and a modern hero in Chicago. So, nobody was surprised when he tallied his 500th career point so early this season. With 181 goals and 319 assists, Kane cracked the achievement almost without anyone noticing. For his career, Kane has 525 games and is sitting comfortably at a +40 ranking.
If Kane is a current hero, Marián Hossa is a living legend. His public struggle with being so close to a Stanley Cup and not reaching it was finally eased with his time in Chicago, though perhaps more career-marking, was the recording of his 1,000th career NHL point. Hossa was able to notch 466 goals and 534 assists in 1100 total career games with a +211 to boast about.
What’s important to note for both Kane and Hossa, is that both players have more assists than goals. Yes, they are phenomenal goal-scorers and dynamic offensive talents. But it’s their ability to thread picturesque passes to allow teammates light the lamp, which moves them further towards their career highlights. And with numbers similar to a point per game for both players, it’s easy to see why they are called upon to perform on the score sheet nightly.
It’s worth mentioning that there is a bit of poetry to the doubling of Hossa’s points to Kane’s in the same season. Hossa has spent a number of years in the NHL, a veteran, a reliable workhorse that is admired by young rookie teammates and favored by long-time fans. And while Kane is already cemented in Chicago, he is the junior to Hossa. Kane is still learning, captivating, fresh, and in his prime. Watching Hossa reach the century-point mark gives many people time to pause and predict the possibility, certainty perhaps, of Kane joining his teammate someday.
Though, what makes both milestones stand tall is that neither player is showing signs of ending the journey. The adventure continues, more mile-markers will be passed before the story ends. This is maybe the true joy of watching players mark their careers, knowing that the ride is always worth admiring.