By Paul M. Banks
Following an off-season that even the most optimistic person would describe as excruciatingly disastrous, Patrick Kane has something extremely positive to look forward to. The EA Sports video game NHL 10, with the Chicago Blackhawks right wing on the cover, hits North American retail stores Tuesday, September 15th.
A native of Buffalo, NY, Kane is just the second American-born player to be featured on the cover of the top-selling EA Sports hockey videogame franchise. New York Rangers goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck was the first when he was featured on the cover of NHL 97. Kane is the youngest player ever chosen for the cover of the NHL franchise and his image will front all packaging related to NHL 10. The physical image of Kane remains on the product, despite the public image of Kane suffering a huge black eye last month. You’ll remember on August 9, Kane and his cousin, James M. Kane, were arrested in Buffalo for allegedly assaulting a taxicab driver.
They were eventually cleared of any felony charges, but indictments on less severe misdemeanor assault, theft and harassment charges still loomed overhead. On August 27, the Kanes pleaded guilty to non-criminal disorderly conduct charges, and the court ordered them to issue an apology to the driver. So essentially, the storm has passed from a legal perspective.
The Redwood City, California tech firm Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) did not issue any further statement on the release date in regards to their cover choice. But they did explain their rationale when going public with the decision on June 22nd.
“At EA Sports we believe in identifying the most talented up-and-coming athletes in the world to help us develop the most authentic sports games,” said Jordan Edelstein, Vice-President of Marketing for EA Sports. “We believe Kane is one of the next great American hockey stars.” So it appears Kane has recovered nicely from “being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” as his endorsements (and legal freedoms) remain in tact. Box art and screenshots of Patrick Kane are available here
Returning to on-ice news, Kane began training camp on Sunday, skating with Team A (Red) at the Hawks’ pre-season camp. The team is divided into three squads: A (Red), B (Black), and C (White).