Despite leading the NHL in scoring, there were some who wondered if Patrick Kane‘s legal troubles would be too toxic for the Chicago Blackhawks.
You can probably put those rumors to bed now, as the Chicago Tribune reports.
Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman addressed the media on Saturday, going on the record about the winger for the first time since prosecutors declined to charge Kane regarding a rape investigation.
The message: Kane is “absolutely” a part of the team’s long-term plans.
“You can’t find talent like that,” Bowman said, according to the Tribune. “You look at what he’s done over the course of his career, whether it’s this season, last season … he’s been a game changer. He’s one of those guys that’s, I’ve said it a lot over the years, he’s able to elevate his game in pressure moments. Not too many guys are able to do that.”
Bowman didn’t discuss Kane’s behavior off the ice, however.
Whatever fans – of the NHL in general and Blackhawks specifically – might feel about the situation, it seems clear that Kane will be a fixture in Chicago.