On paper, the 2011-12 season was Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane's worst in his five-year career. Even his wide-eyed rookie campaign was better statistically.

Kane's 66 points marked his lowest output yet. His 23 goals were just two more than his rookie-year total. It would seem that he took a step back after being a point-per-game player the last two seasons.

It's deceiving, though. While he's paid to score, assist and spring fans from their seats, what Kane truly did this season might be underrated.

Kane is more of a team player than many give him credit for, and the idea of trading him is foolish.

"As far as my season personally, you want to put up some more points and some more goals," Kane said this week. "But I'm excited about the challenge next year."

This season was a challenge for Kane.

It began with surgery to repair his wrist, which he grudgingly admitted hindered him at times. Then came the order from above to play center. Never mind that he had been great at right wing and hadn't played center since he was a kid.

In the end, that meant going from left wing to right wing to center in the playoffs against the Phoenix Coyotes, one of the best defensive teams in the league.

Few players with Kane's profile would do that and offer no complaints in public or behind closed doors. He went with it.