So over at BTI HQ, we were trying to think of a way to pass the dog days of the hockey offseason. As you can imagine, trying to find content to write about in August can be tough.
So we decided to start a bracket. But a simple bracket of who is the best player in the NHL would end one of two ways: Connor McDavid defeating Sidney Crosby OR Sidney Crosby defeating Connor McDavid in the final. So we switched it up a little.
A few week’s ago we had Jeff Carter and Brent Burns go head to head. Brent Burns came away victories in that battle and now this week we’ve got two heavyweights ready to battle it out!
THE CASE FOR Jamie Benn
Patrick Kane is very very very very (you get the point) skilled. You know that I know that, everyone knows that.
Majority of hockey fans know how good Jamie Benn is, but sometimes I feel as though his effectiveness gets lost in today’s fast paced, skilled NHL.
Benn is a big body who actually skates very well for someone who’s 6’2 and well over 200 pounds. He can park himself in front of the net and wreak havoc, or he can sit on the wingers and fire home one timers with his surprisingly strong shot. He can kill penalties as much as he can make other teams pay for taking them. You want a player you can trust to protect a lead late in the game? It’s Benn. You want a player who you can throw out with a minute left and you’re down a goal? Benn can do it.
As for scoring, Kane has an edge there obviously, but the gap isn’t huge. He’s eclipsed a point per game in 2 of the last 4 seasons and was dangerously close to that mark in those other two “off” years (69 points in 77 games & 79 points in 81 games).
THE CASE FOR Patrick Kane
Three time Stanley Cup champion, Patrick Kane is one of the biggest names in the NHL.
He’s consistently been on the box score since day one of his NHL career, always coming up clutch when the Blackhawks need him the most. Kane has been a huge asset in changing the Blackhawks culture into a winning one. His tremendous 72 point rookie campaign helped Chicago to their first winning season since 2002. Since Kane has been with the organization they have not had a single losing season and have only missed the playoffs once: 2007-08.
Kane is a prolific scorer and over the past three seasons, nobody has scored more points than him. A big chunk of those points came from his outstanding season where he won the Ted Lindsay, became the first American born player to win the Art Ross, and took home the Hart Trophy: beating out Jamie Benn. That same year, Kane went on a 26 game point streak which became the longest in Blackhawks history and also the second longest streak since Mats Sundin in 1993.
Kane’s elite scoring touch is better than anybody else in the league today. He’s a big time player who makes big time plays.
Make sure to vote on our Twitter poll (@belowtheice) for whom ever you believe won this argument!