Is Patrick Kane on his way out of town? Are the Chicago Blackhawks sick of his antics? The team is not answering any media requests at all regarding Kaner’s allegedly getting drunk, passing out at a bar, choking a woman, and hurling anti-Semitic slurs while getting kicked out of a party at the University of Wisconsin.
The Hawks aren’t even bothering to do damage control or enact the spin machine on this one. They won’t even allow “Kaner” to talk to the Chicago Tribune, let alone any other media outlets. Taking it further, they won’t even allow anyone from the team to even discuss Kane.
Does this mean it’s the end of the Kane era in Chicago?
The Trib’s Steve Rosenbloom believes so. He also believes the silence means the Hawks regard the 23-year-old NHL superstar as guilty of what multiple people accuse him of doing.
From the Chicago Tribune Rosenblog:
Look, if the pictures were, say, photoshopped and Kane was being punk’d, then the Hawks would be loudly decrying the unfairness of it all. If Kane was the Boy Scout they’ve tried to market, then you betcha the Hawks would be screaming about it.
But they aren’t.
The Hawks aren’t saying anything. Remember, the Hawks are generally loud and boosterish. They schedule news conferences for a 2 percent increase in broadcast ratings.
For Kane’s (and the rest of the Blackhawks shirtless limo ride partying photos go here
The Hawks, more than any other pro team in this city, have an obsession with message control that rivals the old Soviet Union. They are as warm and accommodating as General Aladeen from the Republic of Wadiya. When there’s any news that could be even the least bit unflattering, their media relations policy is go eff yourself. (Actually, it’s that way a good percentage of normal times too).
But when there’s news that makes them look good, the Hawks will bombard the inboxes of local media members.
Kane is the face of the franchise, a former #1 overall draft pick, an Olympic MVP, Stanley Cup Finals game winning goal scorer. In order to be the team’s premier representative, he needs to have a clean image, not an utterly damaged one. How can he keep up his frat party persona and Animal House public image while also being the team’s ambassador, and dare I say it, a role model to young Hawks fans at the same time?
The two roles are diametrically opposed. And the Hawks probably won’t stand for it much longer. Team President John McDonough is all about image and impression management and “Kaner being Kaner” got old and overdone a long time ago. This isn’t just about having a good time, it’s about an image crisis.
Quoting the Rosenblog again:
Everyone at the Madhouse on Madison would have a reason for wanting to be rid of Kane. The reasons would be legit, too, more legit than Kane playing center.
So, maybe the Hawks’ silence isn’t because they’re hoping this goes away but because they’re fighting to see who gets the honor of making the problem child go away.
There’s a rule in hockey that resounds from the dressing room out: Your best players have to be your leaders and your leaders have to be your best players. Kane is hardly a leader. There’s no reason to trust him.
Agreed. The Buffalo cabbie incident over 20 cents, the numerous sets of drunken pictures at different incidents, the blatant disregard Kane has for who he is within today’s media landscape, on top of what he’s accused of doing in Badgers land…maybe he’s worn out his welcome.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, MSN and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.