Patrick Kane's bobblehead headache

The Chicago Blackhawks are taking some predictable heat after announcing that their schedule of home-game promotions will include a Patrick Kane Bobblehead Night on January 24th.  It would not be wrong to call this another tone-deaf moment in their handling of Patrick Kane as he stands accused, but not charged, of sexual assault.  But let’s not get too worked up about it.

For one, this is one of about 22 “Game Night Giveaways” this season, and was probably planned months ago.  The Blackhawks have stayed on a “business as usual” course regarding Kane, so sticking to the schedule is part of that plan.  If they had canceled the giveaway, they would be criticized for being inconsistent — letting him play but seeing a bobblehead  night as inappropriate.

I have no doubt, however, that this promotion would be canceled if Kane is charged.  Sure they could have canceled it anyhow and no one would have noticed its absence, but by January 24 Kane’s legal situation should be very well known and the team will adjust as necessary to any significant changes.

By allowing Kane to return to the team, the Hawks put themselves in the line of fire — no matter what they do involving Kane has a potential to generate some backlash.  They’re in this no-win situation by their own design, though.


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