IMHO Chan’s career to date has had three stages. In the “busy feet stage” he presented something truly unique (not counting Kurt Browning as a pro) and made us sit up and take notice. I still say Patrick’s all-time defining performance was Four Seasons at 2008 Canadian Nationals.
In the “quad stage” he added quads to his repertoire. I don’t think his quads were more special than other guys’ quads, but in combination with his blade skills it looked like he would be unbeatable. And he was. He fell a lot, but the judges forgave him because he had it all.
Almost all. The only thing missing was “artistry.” Patrick’s Elegy exhibition program showed that he had it in him. He parted ways with his coach and went with a dance instructor. He tried hard. I can’t say that his performances actually got any more artistic in this third stage, but good for him for attempting to improve in a previously neglected direction. His technical skills leveled off, but this happens to everyone regardless (even the Zeus-like Plushenko).
In the end what happened to Patrick is what happens to everyone who declares himself the fastest gun in the west. A younger kid comes along.