Chicago Blackhawks

Where does Patrick Kane rank among Hart Trophy candidates for 2017-18 season?

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USA TODAY

Where does Patrick Kane rank among Hart Trophy candidates for 2017-18 season?

Patrick Kane is among the Hart Trophy candidates for the 2017-18 season, but what are his early odds to reclaim the title?

The 28-year-old Blackhawks star followed up an 106-point campaign in which he became the first American-born player to win the Art Ross and Hart Trophy by finishing tied for second in the NHL with 89 points last season.

But he's facing some tougher odds going into this year.

Bovada revelead Wednesday that Connor McDavid is the front-runner to repeat at 3/2 odds, followed by Sidney Crosby (5/2), Auston Matthews (17/2) and Alex Ovechkin (9/1). Kane ranks fifth at 14/1.

Here's the rest of the list:

  • Vladimir Tarasenko: 15/1
     
  • Evgeni Malkin: 16/1
     
  • Carey Price, John Tavares: 20/1
     
  • Jamie Benn, Steven Stamkos: 25/1
     
  • Erik Karlsson, Nikita Kucherov: 33/1
     
  • Jack Eichel, Ryan Getzlaf, Patrik Laine, Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguin: 50/1
     
  • Nicklas Backstrom, Brent Burns, Braden Holtby, Phil Kessel, Artemi Panarin, Joe Pavelski: 60/1


A couple solid value picks would be Karlsson at 33/1 and Burns at 60/1, both of whom made strong cases to be in that conversation last year as defensemen.

You'll also notice Panarin as a darkhorse candidate. It will be interesting to see how Kane and Panarin fare without each other in the prime of their careers. Who knows, maybe they'll be sharing the stage together as finalists in Las Vegas next June.

J.D. Power study shows White Sox offer top fan experience in Chicago sports

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USA TODAY

J.D. Power study shows White Sox offer top fan experience in Chicago sports

The White Sox haven't done much winning this season. In fact, they entered Wednesday with just 45 victories, eight fewer than Oakland's 53 wins.

But while the product on the field hasn't yielded much (a full teardown and rebuild will do just that), according to one study the fans in the stands are still having an excellent time.

J.D. Power released their second annual 2017 Fan Experience Study, and the White Sox rank first in the Chicago market among all the major sports teams.

J.D. Power "measures fan satisfaction with their overall experience at major pro sporting events." The seven factors (in order of importance) are:

1. Seating area and game experience
2. Security and ushers
3. Leaving the game
4. Arriving at the game
5. Food and beverage
6. Ticket purchase
7. Souvenirs and merchandise

On a 1,000-point scale, the White Sox lead the Chicago market with an 809 rating, slightly above the MLS' Chicago Fire. Take a look at the chart here:

Of the 11 markets, Chicago was the only where a sport other than MLS or NHL led the way.

J.D. Power added these notes from Chicago: 

  • Sweeter on the south side: The White Sox (809) jump to the top of overall fan experience scores in the Chicago market, knocking the Fire (806) off its perch from last year and making it the only MLB team to rank highest in the study across all markets.
  • Hey, hey, what’s with the champs?: The Cubs (767) had a storybook season in 2016, but the “friendly confines” of Wrigley Field still aren’t living up to fan expectations, particularly when it comes to the food and beverage experience (695).

Not only did the White Sox finish first in Chicago, they fared pretty well among all markets. Only the New York Red Bulls (819), Los Angeles Galaxy (815), Houston Dynamo (814), New Jersey Devils (813) and the Florida Panthers (813) ranked higher.

The team may not be winning this year, but you're guaranteed to have a great time at G-Rate Field.

Hawks Talk Podcast: Bryan Bickell on journey with Blackhawks, battling MS

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Bryan Bickell on journey with Blackhawks, battling MS

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Bryan Bickell sits down with Pat Boyle and they discuss the retired player's journey to the NHL, which included being an Ottawa clubhouse assistant where he met future teammate, Marian Hossa.

Bickell admits when he finally knew he was a regular in the NHL, his incredible 2013 postseason performance and the historic 17 seconds in Boston.

Finally, Bryan gets emotional when discussing his MS diagnosis, his shootout goal in his final NHL game, and how his wife Amanda has been at his side throughout his entire hockey career.

Listen to the Hawks Talk Podcast below: