James O'Brien

Patrick Kane

Kane is using the same lawyer from that 2009 cab incident

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With a rape investigation underway, Patrick Kane is turning to the same lawyer who represented him back in 2009, the Associated Press confirms.

That would be Paul J. Cambria, Jr., the attorney who worked with the Chicago Blackhawks winger regarding the infamous “20 cents” incident with a cab driver in the Buffalo area.

The AP reports that Cambria acknowledged his hiring via a text message on Saturday, but didn’t provide any other details.

Cambria isn’t just familiar with Kane, he’s also experienced when it comes to high-profile clients, as his website affirms:

Mr. Cambria’s practice is nationwide, and he divides his time between the firm’s offices in Buffalo and Los Angeles. He has represented many prominent individuals, including the publisher Larry Flynt and musicians DMX and Marilyn Manson.

News of the rape investigation broke on Thursday, while police confirmed it a day later. Kane, 26, is spending a “low-key” day with the Stanley Cup today.

Yes, Patrick Kane is getting his day with the Stanley Cup

Patrick Kane
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With legal questions swirling, it was more than reasonable to wonder if Patrick Kane’s day with the Stanley Cup might be postponed or canceled, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

ESPN’s Katie Strang reports that it will happen, yet he’s keeping it to a private day with his family.

(The Chicago Sun-Times has a little more on his “low-key” day with the Cup.)

News surfaced on Thursday that there is a rape investigation underway regarding Kane, 26. Hamburg police confirmed as much on Friday.

While the Chicago Blackhawks winger is getting his day with the Cup, it sounds as though several plans were scuttled, according to the Buffalo News’ Tim Graham.

Graham notes that Scotty Bowman spent time with the trophy on Friday.

For more details about the investigation, read here and here.

Under Pressure: Bobby Ryan

Bobby Ryan
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When you’re bringing home the biggest paychecks on your team, people are going to expect big results.

Most won’t demand team-best play from Bobby Ryan, as just about anyone realizes that the Ottawa Senators go as far as Erik Karlsson can take them.

That said, many are going to expect Ryan, 28, to score more than 18 goals now that his hefty contract is kicking in. Disappointing playoff results aren’t going to cut it, either.

His $7.25 million cap hit tops all Senators, and it’s a lengthy deal (the overall cost: seven years, $50.75 million). It’s a contract that could elicit some serious groans in little time, particularly if Ryan doesn’t find a way to be more than the 20-ish goal scorer we’ve seen lately.

Snipers have it tough in a lot of ways, as even the best hit cold streaks, sometimes based largely on bad luck. Even so, Ryan hasn’t exactly given himself a lot of leeway with fans who may otherwise hand him some benefit of the doubt:

It probably doesn’t help the American winger’s cause that the Senators employed cheaper players who produced similar results last season.

He only ranked sixth on the team in goals with those 18, as Mike Hoffman (27 goals, $2 million next season), Mark Stone (26 goals, $3.5M), Kyle Turris (24 goals, $3.5M), Karlsson (21 goals, $6.5M) and Mika Zibanejad (20 goals, $2.625M) all lit the lamp more often than Ryan.

As uncomfortable as that might be considering Ryan’s price tag, it could also stand as a “good problem to have” … at least if the Senators make the playoffs. (Although he’d probably be the first to admit that his 2015 postseason performance was underwhelming, too.)

If that isn’t the case, Ryan will be put under far more scrutiny, and people will again wonder about his ability to spell intensity. Ultimately, it all reads as a high-pressure situation for Ryan.

Red Wings ’15-16 Outlook

Detroit Red Wings v Buffalo Sabres
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For a franchise associated almost as much with consistency as it is with excellence, this has been a tumultuous offseason for the Detroit Red Wings.

After a decade of scowls and strong coaching, Mike Babcock fled for Toronto, prompting the Red Wings to hand the keys to Jeff Blashill. Forecasting the impact of such a change is difficult, but Blashill will certainly be under pressure.

The winds of change swept through the roster, too. The team finally swept away the error of adding Stephen Weiss by buying him out. Mike Green provides a big upgrade in the “right-handed offensive defenseman” category over Marek Zidlicky, while GM Ken Holland also added some veteran skill by signing Brad Richards.

Bolstering a competitive lineup with some useful free agents provides some reason for optimism. Pessimists will linger on questions of health, however.

Most obviously, Pavel Datsyuk is expected to miss at least the first month of the 2015-16 season, and it’s plausible that such a situation would be a best-case scenario. Johan Franzen’s career also appears to be in limbo, as he may functionally retire.

The Red Wings often go as far as Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg can take them, but injuries have really saddled those world-class workhorses.

There’s been a silver lining to the unfortunate injury issues for Detroit’s dynamic duo: players like Gustav Nyquist received a little extra room to spread their wings. Key players on the Red Wings roster now have a decent amount of experience absorbing heightened roles, so the shock of starting 2015-16 without Datsyuk should at least be tempered a bit.

Goaltending is a question, at least as far as determining if the majority of starts go to Jimmy Howard or Petr Mrazek. There’s also maybe a bit more age on the blueline than some may want (Green’s one of the younger defensemen, and he’s already 29).

All things considered, it seems like the Red Wings may settle into a reality that once seemed unthinkable: scratching and clawing for a playoff spot rather than cruising in.

That said, if you’d like to weigh in on Detroit’s chances of making the playoffs for a 25th consecutive season, vote in the poll here.

Poll: Can Detroit make it 25 straight playoff runs?

Tampa Bay Lightning, Detroit Red Wings
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Many Detroit Red Wings fans roll their eyes whenever someone wonders if “this will be the year” their playoff streak ends, but isn’t that the nature of the beast?

It’s a pretty nice problem for a sports fan to have, at least.

While the situation got dicey at times, the Red Wings made it to the playoffs for a staggering 24th straight season in 2014-15. It’s true that they were bounced in the first round, yet the Tampa Bay Lightning struggled to dispatch them in seven games.

The “will they miss it this time?” question seems especially relevant this time around, however, as Mike Babcock’s decade-long run of excellence is now over. New head coach Jeff Blashill has some huge shoes to fill, even with some intriguing additions in Mike Green and Brad Richards.

So, what do you think? Will the Red Wings pull off 25 straight trips to the postseason?