Those simmering days of summer are pretty much over now, or at least they are for those of us who live in the northeast and woke up to a brisk fall breeze this morning. We’re nearly one week into September, which means two things: local hack FM deejays playing “Wake Me Up When September Ends” on an endless and nauseating loop, and the end of a hockey offseason that’s now only 84 days old.

But remember those slow summer days from like, say, two weeks ago? Those were good times, and we did things like relay every morsel of news regarding Sidney Crosby’s retirement recovery. Wait, we still do that.

Our fresh and original summer musings led us to Patrick Kane, the Blackhawks forward whose recovery from wrist surgery was slightly behind schedule in late August. Now by the grace of the hockey gods Kane’s recovery has taken a swift turn, and instead of aiming just for opening night and possibly missing most of training camp, he’s looking to play in up to four preseason games.

That’s what Kane told the media after he threw out the opening pitch during yesterday’s Cubs game, and later sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Hopefully he fared better than Eddie Vedder, but that’s a story for another time.

What’s important is that Kane told the media his recovery is “a little ahead of schedule.” Kane’s definition of “a little” is evidently similar to the “a little” the average man uses to measure his alcohol consumption, because he’s made impressive progress since his last update two weeks ago

Kane’s cast has been removed, and he’s now wearing a splint that he sometimes removes up to five times a day to do exercises and general rehabilitation. The splint will be forever discarded just over a week from now on Sept. 15, two days before the Blackhawks’ first practice. Kane told the Chicago Tribune that he hopes to be on the ice.

“I’ve always believed training camp is a real big time of year for myself to get ready for the regular season, (and) I love those exhibition games (because) they definitely help you get back into a game-style of hockey. I played four last year (and) I’d probably like to play around (that many) again this year.”

There was still a hint of caution in his words, but Kane was never in any danger of missing regular season games after his July 19 surgery.

“(Doctors) said I was really fast to be where I was at six weeks. I’m probably a little ahead of schedule. Right now, we’re pretty much sticking to that eight-week plan.”

“We’re still at that point where you’re still pretty cautious with the wrist. You don’t want to take any steps backward. From what I heard, once I get the splint off I can pretty much do anything and start working it hard.”

During workouts the 22-year-old has been skating and taking only backhanded shots, with any other shot made impossible because of the splint.

If all aspects of his recovery are functioning at the same superhuman rate Kane’s backhand will soon have the power of the average Al MacInnis howitzer, and he’ll also start bringing multiple female companions to every game, being sure to sleep in his own bed afterwards.