Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin are still the two highest profile players in the sport, but no hockey star seems to be a tabloid magnet (sometimes fair, sometimes not) quite like Patrick Kane.
Perhaps it comes with the territory, though. For one thing, Kane isn’t just a flashy hockey player, he’s a flashy American hockey player. He isn’t a bountiful source of one-liners on the same scale as Jeremy Roenick, but he isn’t a clichebot like Crosby either. And let’s face it: Kane isn’t shy about having a good time.
Kane’s somewhat wild reputation (built on the regrettable cab driver incident and those mostly-just-embarrassing shirtless limo photos) leads many to jump to conclusions – right or wrong – about the slick winger’s social life. Deadspin ran a story Friday claiming that Kane missed Chicago’s Monday and Tuesday practices because of a “two-day hangover” rather than flu-like symptoms. This is far from the first time that an NHL player has been accused of having the booze flu, but Kane denied the story to Chris Kuc, saying that the photos were old and that he was indeed sick.
Ultimately, it’s a game of he-said/huge Internet rumor Web site-said between Kane and Deadspin, but there are a few important takeaways:
1. There are no reports that Kane hurt himself or anyone else, meaning the stakes are pretty marginal even if the report is accurate and the photos were from this weekend.
2. Sports athletes (and in some cases, owners such as Jerry Jones) shouldn’t ever pose for photos with people when they’re out having a few drinks.
(Honestly, if I was in Kane’s position, I’d probably force everyone to check their cell phones/cameras at the door in any situation in which spirits might be consumed.)
You can watch Kane refute the reports (and discuss his team’s struggles) in the video below, via CSN Chicago. This story will probably go away, but it does beg the question: did Kane already lose the benefit of the doubt in many circles?