There’s a tremendous amount of uncertainty regarding the future of Patrick Kane.
As it stands today, Kane remains under police investigation for an alleged incident in early August, in which he’s accused of raping a woman at his Buffalo-area home. He hasn’t been charged but, per the Buffalo News, has met with both the Hamburg Police Department and Erie County District Attorney.
Kane also hasn’t spoken publicly or issued a statement since the alleged incident.
That silence, though, hasn’t stopped various entities from cutting ties with the Chicago star. EA Sports dropped him from the cover of the NHL ’16 video game and Kane’s former OHL team, the London Knights, removed his eponymous moniker from its annual training camp routine.
Needless to say, the optics surrounding Kane aren’t good right now.
Which is why the ‘Hawks are facing a difficult set of circumstances less than three weeks out of their own training camp. Publicly, the club has said little about the investigation — “We’re disappointed but hopeful,” club owner Rocky Wirtz said in mid-August, per the Tribune — while the NHL said it was monitoring the situation.
“You can assume we are doing everything we need to be doing from the league’s perspective,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Sun-Times in an email earlier this month.
The situation is filled with unknowns.
It’s unknown if Kane will ever be charged by the Erie County DA and, if he is, when it will happen. It’s unknown if the league will intervene — like it did with the LA Kings during Slava Voynov’s domestic assault incident, suspending the Russian defenseman indefinitely — and it’s unknown if, should Kane be charged, he’d be allowed to continue playing, like Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov was after being charged with assault in 2013.
It’s also unknown if Chicago could — or, would — discipline Kane internally, or what role the NHLPA would play in all of this.
Right now, it’s all speculation until the Blackhawks descend on the University of Notre Dame on Sept. 18 for training camp. By then, the picture should be clearer.
Unless, of course, it isn’t.