No really, he did.
The annual ESPY awards (hosted by ESPN) from time to time provide an incredible look back at the athletes and moments that remind us why we love sports, why we care so much about those who provide us with those moments, and what those moments, players, and teams mean to us and how they will always be remembered.
And sometimes, the ESPY’s remind us that, much like TV, Film, and Music award shows, these things don’t matter at all.
Case in point, tonight’s ESPY award for the Best NHL Player for 2021 went to Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane.
I’m not joking.
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) July 11, 2021
Kane won the award over Andrei Vasilevskiy, Auston Matthews, and Connor freaking McDavid.
Voting on the awards opened on June 16th and the winners are determined completely by fan votes. My best guess as to why Kane won this year’s award is because many fans who voted are not likely the most-versed in hockey. It’s very possible the only name they recognized out of those four was Patrick Kane, picked him, and then moved on to the next category.
Listen, Patrick Kane is a phenomenal player, still at the top of the NHL as he continues to play into his 30’s, but he is the fourth-best out of these four players nominated.
This, by the way, is a perfect example of what ESPN and Turner Sports are tasked with doing for the NHL now that they are the joint-homes of the league on TV. Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, Nikita Kucherov, Andrei Vasilevskiy, these guys need to become household names for the league to not only survive, but thrive. It’s seriously insane to me that Connor McDavid is not a household name in America among general sports fans, let alone casual NHL fans.
But hey, congratulations to Patrick Kane on the ESPY win. I’m sure he’s got a spot cleared for it on his mantle right next to his Hart and Conn Smythe Trophies.