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Blackhawks fans construct shrine in honor of injured Patrick Kane (photo)

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Chicago Blackhawks fans are understandably distraught over the injury that has sidelined superstar Patrick Kane. The high-scoring and tremendously skilled offensive dynamo suffered a fractured left collarbone after crashing into the boards during a Feb. 24 game and is expected to miss 12 weeks following surgery. The team has experienced a slight drop in play — although the team has continued to win — since his injury, demonstrating just how valuable Kane’s spot in the lineup was to Chicago’s success.

Times are tough in Chi-Town for sure, but who could have expected that Blackhawks backers would feel compelled to erect a shrine to in honor of the injured Kane?

That’s what a handful of Blackhawks fans did outside Irish pub Johnny O’Hagan’s in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood.

The shrine features a beatific, saintly depiction of Kane. Clad in robes and adorned with a halo, Kane is holding a hockey stick along with a scroll featuring lines from The Fratelli’s “Chelsea Dagger,” the team’s celebration song.

There also is a gaggle of hockey equipment adorning the shrine, as well as a box of Lucky Charms along with several other items of presumable meaning.

Conor Kelly, the proprietor of Johnny O’Hagan’s, told For the Win that the fans were granted permission to construct the shrine outside his bar.

Sports fans in the Windy City certainly appear to have a developing affinity for constructing shrines in honor of their injured heroes. Kane’s shrine follows one recently set up in an underpass to memorialize oft-injured Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose. Just how treasured and valued a player is to Chicago sports fans will from this point forward be measured by whether or not a shrine is constructed. Something tells me Jay Cutler won’t receive the distinctive honor should he get injured next season.