KaneForward for the Blackhawks, Patrick Kane, suffered an injury so severe while playing against the Panthers that he is expected to be out between six and ten weeks. In Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout with the Florida team, Kane experienced an injury to the upper body.

The injury occurred during the first period, forcing Kane to stay out for the remainder of the game. According to reports, doctors are checking to see if the injury is related to his clavicle. Doctors will also make the final determination if he will miss the start of the playoffs, scheduled to start in seven weeks.

As stated by witnesses, 26-year-old Kane was hit with a cross-check by Alex Petrovic who is a defender for the Panthers. For that action, Petrovic was given a two-minute penalty. Immediately following the incident, Kane went to the team’s locker room to be checked by trainers.

Although the true severity of the injury remains unclear, it could be devastating to the Blackhawks if Kane remains out for an extended period of time. Going into yesterday’s game, the All-Star winger held an NHL high of 64 points, having 37 assists and 27 goals. At that pace, he would be well on his way to a career high of 88 points that could potentially put him in line for the Hart Trophy.

Kane told a reporter with the Chicago Tribune that times have changed, saying that where he is now is completely different than where he used be. Kane stated that while he loved the game and always strives to do his absolute best, things are at an entirely different level now.

Currently in the Western Conference, the Blackhawks are fourth with 77 points. For the team’s offense, Kane is a major factor so losing him because of this injury would make it difference to maintain in an extremely competition environment. There are few NHL teams with the depth that the Blackhawks offer and of all players anyone wants to see out for any length of time, it would be Kane.

If the Blackhawks want to continue winning and being a powerful presence on the ice, wingers Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa will have to step up their game while Kane is out. Whether or not they can achieve the level of play needed no one knows yet.