Patrick Kane speaks after winning the Hart Trophy as league MVP. (Getty Images)

Patrick Kane becomes first American to win Hart Trophy as MVP

SHARE Patrick Kane becomes first American to win Hart Trophy as MVP
SHARE Patrick Kane becomes first American to win Hart Trophy as MVP

LAS VEGAS —Patrick Kane’s 2015-16 season will go down in history. American history, at least.

After breaking the American record with a 26-game point streak during the season, then becoming the first U.S.-born player to win the Art Ross Trophy as the scoring champion, Kane on Wednesday night became the first American born-and-raised player to win the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player.

He also picked up the Ted Lindsay Award, which is given to the league’s most outstanding player as voted on by the players. Kane already had established himself as one of the greatest American players of all time. Now he has the hardware to prove it.

“I definitely feel very fortunate,” Kane said, nine years to the day the Hawks drafted him first overall. “It’s amazing to me that there’s no American that’s ever won the scoring title or the MVP award because there’s been so many great American players. You can go up and down the list of names —guys like [Chris] Chelios, Brian Leetch, Mike Modano, Joe Mullen, Jeremy Roenick, players that had great careers. It’s pretty amazing to say that [there are] some American records you hold now, whether it’s the MVP, scoring title, point streak. It’s pretty exciting.”

Kane set career highs this season with 46 goals and 60 assists. But he didn’t do it alone. He deferred plenty of credit to linemate Artemi Panarin, who won the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. The Russian burst on to the NHL scene this season with a 30-goal, 77-point performance, proving to bea flashy, creative and highly skilled scorer who had instant chemistry with Kane. Panarin is the first Hawks player to win the award since Kane did so in 2008. Panarin even gave his speech in English, thanking his family, friends and teammates.

But when asked if he came to the NHL expected to play at such a high level right away, Panarin wanted to look forward, not back.

“I don’t want to think that this is my [highest] level,” he said.

Kane echoed that sentiment, repeating his usual mantra that while he’s happy with his play, he’s not satisfied. And despite winning the Hart, Ross and Lindsay trophies, Kane still walked away without the trophy he most wants. That one went to Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, who finished second in the Hart voting.

“It was a fun night; it’s fun to have this recognition,” Kane said. “But I think all of us that have won individually tonight will trade it in for the biggest team award — winning the Stanley Cup. We know how precious and fun that is to win.”

In other major awards, Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar won the Norris Trophy (defenseman) and Selke Trophy (defensive forward) awards, respectively, and Washington’s Braden Holtby won the Vezina Trophy (goaltender). Washington’s Barry Trotz won the Jack Adams as coach of the year.

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