Blackhawks Confidential

Blackhawks gone wild; citizen Kane finally hits someone (allegedly)

Patrick Kane has been holding out on us. Who knew he could hit anyone, angrily or otherwise?

Allegedly, of course. There will be many skeptics unless the cabbie has video.

And, judge, by the way, there are quite a few witnesses from last season at United Center who will swear on a Bible this angelic-looking skating demon has never hit anything more than an odd indentation in the ice once in a while.

C'mon, your honor, watch the tape of the Blackhawks season. The kid's not guilty. Did you see one time he went out of his way to whack anybody? This isn't Mike Peluso here. Kane might have an evil twin. Hopefully his lawyer looks into this being an identify theft.

If the angelic one needs some character witnesses if he ever goes on trial for robbery and assault in Buffalo, N. Y., we could put together a charter tour from Chicago to Buffalo that tries to convince a jury that Kane has a long history in a short NHL career of avoiding any and all physical confrontations.

Detroit's Johan Franzen daringly, tauntingly yanked the mouthguard from Kane's mug in the Western Conference finals as he skated by the Red Wings net. What did Kane do? Skated meekly away and didn't even shoot him a dirty look.

Franzen knows now that all he had to do was tell Kane he didn't have 20 cents change and it would have sent the kid into a frenzy. The cabbie dispute apparently involved a small matter of change exchanging hands before all hell broke loose.

And I'm thinking, too bad Bill Wirtz is dead. He would have liked Kane even more for being a tough negotiator with the buck.

To the best of our knowledge, mighty mite Kane doesn't play fueled on alcohol. There will be a question, however, about whether alcohol played a central role during this explosion after Kane and his cousin allegedly jumped a cabbie who had picked them up near a nightlife neighborhood in Buffalo.

At the age of 20, Kane is suppose to choose between Coke and Pepsi, not Ketel One or Molson. Those taverns he might have visited Saturday night, before the run-in in the cab on their way home, could have their liquor licenses investigated in the course of this incident's fallout.

NHL investigations are thriving. Talk about a boon to the economy. Look into getting hired as an investigator.

Serving a heady brew of minors to the public is the Hawks' job. Kane just turned that on its head.

I'm shocked, shocked that 20-year-olds might have been served alcohol. I waited until I was 19.

I'm shocked, shocked that Buffalo is open after 9 p. m. I can't remember venturing to any Buffalo hotspots when I was there, preferring to pass out early so I could forget I was in Buffalo.

Neither Kane nor his native city has been known as good-time boys. But the times are a'changin' on West Madison Street: about every 15 minutes.

A season that ended in interrupted glory, just short of the Stanley Cup finals, has been transformed in the last couple months into a constantly shifting and suspect dynamic. It has traveled the gamut from a general manager firing, a hidden injury to a star free agent signing and two league investigations into alleged Hawks improprieties.

Luckily for everyone, president John McDonough is a marketing genius. Otherwise, the Hawks really would be in trouble when it comes to safeguarding their image. McDonough has managed to put the alleged into hockey in Chicago, not an easy feat for a sport that has largely served a life sentence for indifference in this city.

There are a number of professions where getting arrested for assault would be a disqualifier. Thank God hockey isn't one. Kane will be just fine after his probation and suspension.

In some circles in Chicago Kane's stock has just gone up. He will now be expected to actually hit another human being on skates next season. It may not be a full season, but Kane better be willing to match his new reputation and turn a deaf ear to all the opponents who will be teasing the hell out of him in a downgrading manner.

Dallas' Sean Avery was suspended last season essentially for bad taste for making ugly sexual remarks about a former girlfriend. If it can be proven that Kane mugged a cabbie, commissioner Gary Bettman is going to have to flex his muscles and suspend him.

Bettman can't allow the NFL  and Roger Goodell to have all the fun. He has to whack Kane if allegedly can be proven absolutely.

The U. S.-Canadian customs frown on felony charges. Ask Bob Probert. They could make it tough on Kane getting to work between the two countries. They make it tough on you if you just have a normal passport.

As for stripping his face off video game NHL '10, forget about it. Like I said this makes Kane a hero some places and video gamers will see that it way.

USA Hockey is not quite as forgiving. These properly proper people prefer flag-draped players representating them that don't come with a felony charge and only red flags in the resume.

The Hawks, of course, have already said in their prepared statement that they are standing behind Kane. But none of us, including the Hawks, will know for a while if they now only have to focus on re-signing Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith to long-term contracts.

That's probably a stretch, but with the salary cap tight, players such as Kane shouldn't be working at taking themselves out of the picture. He is now under a bigger microscope than ever, although these matters have a way of disappearing as time moves on and having not a scintilla of significance overall.

But who can't wait for TMZ.com to come across with Kane's first mug shot? Those are the kind of things that last forever and get reused when the next athlete gets in a fix.

When the Hawks traded Denis Savard to Montreal to get Chris Chelios in 1990, Chelios and Gary Suter were arrested in Madison, Wis., for pissing off the night's alcohol in an alley. Chelios had to come to his introductory press conference in Chicago with an apology for fans that might be pissed off. The whole incident didn't hold water any longer than Chelios.

If Kane can rebound with a good cover story about what transpired in the cab, paint the guy like a modern-day Robert De Niro in "Taxi Driver", he has a chance to turn this around. Are you talking to me? The guy might have taunted him. Kane could use that as his defense.

Then again, if he was just a drunk 20-year-old acting like a drunk 20-year-old, he should be able to get a reduced charge turned into probation and nip the felony in the bud.  That's how I see it going down.

Let's see now. Your offseason hockey roundup includes Marian Hossa's shoulder surgery, Dale Tallon's firing, Mailgate, Investigated Contract Fraud.

And now in this corner, here comes Patty the Kid from Buffalo. Lightweight or heavyweight? To be determined.

What will be next for the Hawks? Might we discover that Toews dabbles in a dogfighting ring in the summer. Or Brent Seabrook is a cross-dresser with a split personality. Or Cristobal Huet has been to the eye doctor and has 10/20 vision.

The Blackhawks may run fifth behind the Bears, Cubs, White Sox and Bulls. But they have done their best to hog the news all summer.

Makes you wonder if all hell will break loose come September and October. Don't stop now. This is just getting interesting.

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4 Comments

jeff greiner said:

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Great article here, Mike. Absolutely hilarious-- the Franzen/mouthguard and Chelios/piss bits had me laughing out loud. Good mix of humor and news. As for the kid... 20 cents? Really? Should have just left him the 15 and been done with it. Hopefully the full story comes out soon, and is a bit different than the current.

Mike Kiley said:

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I would only lose respect for Patrick and his cousin if it turns out they mugged the cabbie stone cold sober. Drunken dumbness is understandable. Sober dumbness would make them both nuts who need anger management. And if the cabbie is right, and Kane kept telling him he didn't know who the F he was F'ing with, I wonder who PK thinks he is really. John McDonough may have to market him now as an egomaniac. Play the drunk card, Patrick. It's your get out of jail card.

Dave Morris said:

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Mike, great article...IMHO one of your best yet.

You KNOW The Hawk Haters jumped on this one...I saw the news on the web this morning...TSN in Toronto screamed KANE ARRESTED and I thought, "OK, in the next 30 minutes this will be all over the Web...with hundreds of comments by fans who have no clue what happened".

Sho nuff. There was even a photomontage on one of the blogs of Pat as "20 Cent".

Welcome to Celebrity Circus, Mr. Kane. They'll be looking though your trash next.

The irony is, that day The K-Kid was being feted by the Mayor of Buffalo as a 'hometown hero', and Pat was musing, "The best thing about it is my friends treat me like I'm a regular kid. They don't treat me like a celebrity or whatever they might treat me like in Chicago."

No, Pat, they treat you like a target.

Bet that cabbie is getting calls from Personal Injury Suit specialists.

Hey, want some Hawk sauce with those Buffalo Wings?

Sordid...but then that's our showbiz-addled world of hockey in the New Millennium.

Time for PK to come back to Chicago...living at Stan Bowman's may not be half as exciting as Chippewa Street, but hey...at least you know who your friends are...and aren't.

Forklift said:

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I actually hear Kane will now be on the cover of the next Grand Theft Auto.

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