Kane has ace up his sleeve

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

Patrick Kane expected a prank or two coming his way yesterday as he quietly rang in his 21st birthday.

But he made sure the team's biggest mischief-maker Patrick Sharp was leery of payback.

A new gadget allows the Chicago Blackhawks star to call or text any of his teammates from his phone but have it show up as someone else's.

"I think he's a little worried now that I'm going to be calling people from his number," Kane said of Sharp. "I showed him it (Wednesday). I think he's trying to stay low because I have the big prank machine now."

Avoiding the jokes yesterday, Kane couldn't escape a biting one from Maple Leafs and Team USA head coach Ron Wilson before their game in Chicago last week.

Offering Kane spare change -- in refernce to the cab incident that initially saw Kane charged with robbery and assault when he and his cousin allegedly beat a cabbie over 20 cents in change they were owed -- as Kane walked past his media scrum in front of rolling TV cameras, Wilson probably crossed the line.

An agreement later saw criminal charges dropped as Kane plead guilty to disorderly conduct and received a conditional discharge.

"We were pretty close at the (American Olympic) orientation camp this summer. Just a lot of jokes thrown back and forth," Kane said of his relationship with Wilson. "It's probably something, I don't know if you want to say in front of the cameras and the media, but if it was just me and him and he said that, it'd just be a joke and you'd laugh at it and move on."

Moving on is what Kane has done, but the incident changed the way he views his life with the Hawks.

"Situations like that open your eyes a little bit," he said. "Pretty much everything -- when I'm out to dinner or walking down the street -- I'm going to treat like it's going to be publicized. It's going to be put in the media."

Downward curve

Jarome Iginla is worried more about his shooting accuracy than faceoff percentage, but the big Calgary Flames winger, who's been known to be a beast on the dots on his strong side, has been taking a backseat in that area this season.

Not only is he taking fewer, he's winning less often than in the past.

"I actually haven't been quite as successful this year," said Iginla, who is 43-for-104 on faceoffs this season.

STEVE.MACFARLANE@SUNMEDIA.CA


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