So the Chicago Blackhawks have already started showing up in town for workouts, we’ve gotten a glimpse of Corey Crawford’s new pads, we’ve seen a couple Russians at The Bean, and…
Nobody has the slightest clue what’s going on.
Jonathan Toews became the first member of the Chicago Blackhawks to speak publicly regarding the investigation of Patrick Kane, which is moving into the Grand Jury phase this week.
While I’m no lawyer, recent high-profile GJ cases have proven that a decent prosecutor can pretty much get whatever they want out of it. They’re the only ones presenting evidence or questioning witnesses. This is where the “you can indict a ham sandwich” saying comes from.
But I’m sure the Blackhawks aren’t very optimistic. And at some point, they and the NHL have to have a conversation about it, if they haven’t already. What the Hawks will look for is some way that The Little Idiot is off the active roster, while reouping the cap hit for as long as he is out. This enables them to finally get Marcus Kruger on the books, with some wiggle room if they want it.
Joel Quenneville already has plans in place, you know that. Figure Teuvo Teravainen gets the first crack on Artem Anisimov’s right wing. Jeremy Morin suddenly becomes a thing too.
But back to Kane…something some of you looked forward to reading as much as we looked forward to writing was our “View From The Top” series. As stated on the Puckcast, The Little Idiot made it impossible for us to display our usual hubris, or claim any sort of high ground over any team in the NHL knowing one of the faces of the franchise could very well wind up in an orange jumpsuit for a significant amount of time.
Not to mention, on a strictly functional level, we also have no idea what the hell is going on. Hell, I can go through the Eastern Conference and predict how things will go (spoiler alert: Tampa gets another crack at the Cup), but in the West? Who knows?
The best player in the Western Conference could be under trial for rape. The team that has won 2 Cups in 4 years has one of their best players facing deportation following doing a 45-day stretch for being a wife beater.
At this point, the only thing that is certain is somehow Anaheim will fuck it up again. But everything else is in the air. Sure, the Hawks have enough without The Little Idiot to get into the playoffs, but beyond that? This is what the Minnesota Wild has been dreaming about all summer.
Look, I’d love for none of this to have happened, for several reasons. First and foremost, it means nobody was assaulted. But also, the entire story of Patrick Kane is forever changed. Even if he walks away without an indictment, he’ll still be viewed as a rapist – again, we’ve had high-profile cases where prosecutors have walked away without an indictment despite it all being on video – a prosecutor can get a desired outcome.
But also, and maybe the most harmful from a hockey standpoint, is how many kids will stop playing or watching the game because having a hero who turns out to be a villain makes them jaded beyond repair? Hopefully they switch their 88s to 86s and just move on.
Now we’re unsure how the Blackhawks’ defense of the Stanley Cup will even commence, because instead of keeping an eye on line combinations in training camp, or wondering which rookies might earn a spot on the big club, we’re all left to wonder what will happen in a courthouse in upsate New York.
He has truly taken the fun out of everything.