Updated: November 19, 2013 11:57PM
DENVER — On Tuesday morning, Colorado Avalanche rookie Nathan MacKinnon, who turned 18 just before training camps opened, spoke glowingly about. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane and about how he loved watching them play while he was ‘‘growing up.’’
Yes, these guys aren’t kids anymore. Well, relatively speaking, at least.
Tuesday was Kane’s 25th birthday. He joined Toews at the milestone number. And while there are now guys in the league who watched him play when they were in middle school, Kane remains excited for what lies ahead.
‘‘It feels like it’s a landmark,’’ he said. ‘‘You almost start another part of your life right now at 25. Then you think of what can happen in the next 25 years of your life and what you can accomplish there. I’m just happy to be here right now. It’s exciting to be part of this team. I still feel like I’m pretty young, but it seems like these years are going by faster and faster. It’s pretty crazy to say I’m 25 now.’’
Aside from being able to rent a car more easily, not much changes for Kane. Despite all he has accomplished so far — two Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe Trophy, a Calder Trophy, a silver medal in the 2010 Olympics — there’s still plenty to keep him motivated.
‘‘You always hope things can get better,’’ he said. ‘‘I think we’ve got a great group in here that you can accomplish some things with. I said it’s a landmark, and you start looking ahead to what you can do in the future. But the best way to do that is just kind of live in the now and live in the age of being 25 and enjoy it and have fun with the road ahead.’’
Kane said he didn’t face any birthday pranks. In fact, he said it has been a few years since anybody has tried to pull anything on him. After all, he’s not the new kid anymore. At the ripe old age of 25, he’s practically an elder statesman — just one who’s only getting started.
‘‘You’re still trying to get better and still trying to do things to reach your full potential,’’ Kane said. ‘‘I don’t regret anything.’’