Though undersized, Kane never seems to get caught with his head down or fall victim to a crushing check. "He's greasy," says Brian Burke, the Maple Leafs general manager, who filled the same role with Team USA. "Even when he's in the corner, he manages to sidestep most of the impact when guys go to hit him.... [But] I think his single biggest gift is that he has no panic threshold at all with the puck. Most guys, when a player from the opposing team gets close to him, they think, O.K., I've got to do something now.... This kid waits until he can feel their breath on his neck, and then he makes a move. It's uncanny."
Kane probably can't feel much on his neck at the moment, what with the mullet hanging in the way. But if the Blackhawks eventually take a turn with the Stanley Cup, there's no way he'll be able to miss the love of Chicago's long-suffering hockey fans. He jokes that if his 'do proves successful as a championship talisman, the hairstyle may become permanent. "I might have to keep it for the summer," he says. "I could grow it out to a full Jagr, long enough to cover the name on the back [of my jersey]."
Mullet or not, Kane's play—if not his hair—remains a cut above the rest.
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