Patrick Kane remembers 'greatest year'

Even a year later, Patrick Kane wonders how he would have looked if the puck had not gone in the net.

His Chicago Blackhawks were in overtime against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup finals last June 9. The Flyers tied the game in the third period, and it was early in overtime when Kane made his infamous rush up the left side and around a defender, putting a quick shot on goalie Michael Leighton and winning the Blackhawks' first Stanley Cup in 49 years.

"The only thing I think about is, if the puck didn't go in what would I have done?" Kane told ESPNChicago.com in a phone interview Thursday, the one-year anniversary of his score. "Would I really have been that idiot running down the ice throwing my gloves away when the puck is not in the net? At the time I was pretty confident and thankfully it worked out that way."

After a title defense that ended in a seven-game series loss to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round, Kane was asked if it felt like a year had gone by since winning the Cup.

"I'd say it feels a little bit longer than a year," he said. "That's probably because we've been out of the playoffs so long and watching other teams play. The one-year anniversary is pretty sweet because of everything that went down last year. It gives some great memories and some great thoughts."

His winning goal is certainly one memory, but he doesn't think it's the lasting one.

"All that stuff is a blur to me because it happened so quickly, but one thing I will remember is Buff [former Blackhawk Dustin Byfuglien], and I were the first two in the locker room, spraying each other with champagne," Kane said. "We were the first two to open up all the bottles and everything. That was cool to remember and big Buff was playing some gangster rap music on the iPod. The celebration in the locker room is something I'll never forget. I remember that stuff."

Kane says he's watched his winning goal "probably 50 times" in the past year and worn his championship ring about 15 times.

"We'll remember that year as the greatest year we've ever had and maybe ever will," he said. "Hopefully we'll have more down the road, but for right now it was the most special year."

Kane hasn't had a chance to reminisce with some of his teammates or former teammates about the championship on its anniversary -- at least not yet.

"I probably will talk to some of the boys," Kane said. "I saw [goaltender Corey] Crawford last night, even though he didn't play in that game. I've been talking to a lot of them anyway, but I'm sure I'll talk to a lot of them [Thursday]."

Thinking back to that night and the moments leading up to his Cup-winning goal, Kane remembers the feelings he had on the bench and in the dressing room.

"Philly tied it up and our bench was pretty deflated," he said. "It was good to have that overtime intermission and realize someone could be a hero in here. When you're on the ice, first and foremost, you're just trying to make plays to help the team win. The way it worked out, it was pretty quick in overtime."

Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.