Kane Investigation More Unsettling News for Chicago
Chicago’s offseason since winning the Stanley Cup is one of the most unsettling for a team in NHL history.
The latest development is one that can rock any organization, even a defending champion. Superstar winger Patrick Kane is under investigation by police in western New York after a woman filed a sexual assault complaint against him last week.
If police charge Kane with rape and he is convicted, the ramifications on the Blackhawks will be severe.
The Blackhawks have already traded forward Patrick Sharp to Dallas and first-line winger Brandon Saad as a restricted free agent to the Columbus Blue Jackets. They have also lost veteran players Antoine Vermette, Brad Richards and Johnny Oduya to free agency and Kimmo Timonen to retirement.
Chicago general manager Stan Bowman has also imported five new players, including defenseman Trevor Daley, winger Marko Dano and center Artem Anisimov.
With training camp less than two months away, and the legal process moving at a slow pace, the Blackhawks may have to suspend Kane. Then again, Chicago’s front office might play him with the belief that he is innocent until proven guilty.
EA Sports is not waiting. The video game company announced this week that it will remove Kane from its NHL 16 game cover.
''In light of the ongoing investigation involving Patrick Kane, he will no longer be a spokesperson for the launch of EA Sports NHL 16,'' the company said via Twitter. ''He will not appear on the EA Sports NHL 16 cover nor participate in other EA Sports NHL 16 promotional activities.''
Colorado allowed starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov to continue playing in 2013 after he was arrested on domestic violence charges .The charges were later dropped. But the Avalanche’s front office was criticized by some fans and media for allowing Varlamov to stay active despite the charges.
Conversely, Los Angeles suspended defenseman Slava Voynov after he was arrested for domestic violence charges in October 2014. Voynov later pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.
Allowing Kane to participate in team activities will probably create a distraction that could disrupt camp. The decision is one Chicago wishes it did not have to make.
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