Something to keep in mind is that charges have been yet to be filed. The status most likely will not change unless they find cold hard evidence. The accuser will not file charges unless she knows she can win the lawsuit. Besides the scenarios and the “what-ifs”, the real question is ‘Where and could Kane’s hockey career continue?’.
The Blackhawks as an organization but specifically the GM, Stan Bowman, holds public image VERY highly. There probably isn’t a more image-conscious team in the NHL, if not all of professional sports, than the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks as a whole are always involved charity, players always signing autographs, smiling for the camera, and they never slip up in press conferences. The Hawks are the model franchise on and off the ice. The Chicago Blackhawks are brand, and quite possibly the most respectable teams in sports. As much as I love Showtime Patrick Kane, he hinders the image of the Blackhawks. Kane's on-ice legacy is already secure at just 26 years old. He helped bring three Stanley Cups to Chicago. He helped revitalize hockey in Chicago. He's a true superstar, can't-take-your-eyes-off-him player like few before him. He's always been great to fans, he's always been close with his teammates, he's always been one of the hardest workers on the team. He also has been one of the most prolific scorers in past decade, and often referred to as the best stickhandler, but there's an off-ice responsibility too. One Kane hasn't lived up to. As one team source put it, he “disrespected” the team and his teammates by once again putting himself in a bad situation. At least five teams contacted the Hawks once the Buffalo News first reported the investigation which involves Kane and a woman at his Hamburg home, and said they’d be willing trade partners should the Hawks decide to cut ties with their superstar winger, according to a league source. The 26-year-old is entering the first year of a record-setting eight-year, $84-million contract. So regardless of the legal outcome of the investigation, Kane’s future with the team is murky at best. To be clear, there has been no firm indication yet that the Hawks truly are willing to take that drastic step. But it’s a step the Hawks must consider.
Training camp opens in a little more than two weeks. Will Kane be there, swarmed by local, regional and national press for his first comments since the investigation began? Will he not be there, fueling rampant speculation and uncomfortable questions for his teammates to dance around? Will the Hawks suspend him until the district attorney decides whether to file charges or not, just to be safe? Will the league step in and do it for them, making the Hawks look tentative and weak? And how long might the DA take? Weeks? Months? All year? A black cloud hanging over the Hawks everywhere they go as they defend their third Stanley Cup in six seasons?
Comment what you think below.
Here is a highlight reel to remind you of Kane’s greatness