By Paul M. Banks
There’s some stupid 1980s power ballad, with a title I can’t recall by a band I can’t remember, but it’s poignant lyrics describe Patrick Kane today. “I just couldn’t believe it, when I heard the news today.” Obviously, I’m referring to Kane’s arrest at 5 A.M. in Buffalo, N.Y. on felony charges. Officially, the 20-year old baby face of the Chicago Blackhawks’ franchise and his cousin, James Kane, were charged with second-degree robbery, a Class C felony, and fourth-degree criminal mischief and theft of services, both Class A misdemeanors.
In the main party area of Buffalo Saturday night, a cab driver claims Kane and his cousin grabbed him by the throat and punched him in the face due to a disagreement over CAB FARE! But wait it gets worse.
On a $13.80 fare, the Kanes gave the driver $15, and took issue with his keeping $1.20, instead of the $1.00 amount they preferred as a tip! Seriously, 20 freakin cents! I’m sure whoever coined the phrase “money is the root of all evil,” never anticipated that a man with a multi-million dollar contract and an infinitely more valuable and marketable public image, would damage it over a measly .20.
Remember, this is the same guy who appeared in his “One Goal” advertisement with a small child. That spot subtly promoted Kaner’s youthful look as a symbol of his perceived wholesomeness. Today, he looks about as wholesome as Bob Probert. So for Kaner, his agent, and his PR handlers, today was obviously catastrophic. But let’s run damage control for the other parties involved.
This off-season has had more bad news than a Fox News Channel program about a Democrat. First came the mailing of the free agent contract offers, which were mishandled worse than an everyday errand on a “Curb Your Enthusiasm episode. Then the “reassignment” of former general manager Dale Tallon, a fan favorite. The new GM Stan Bowman housed Patrick Kane in the basement of his home during his rookie season, so it will be interesting to hear what Bowman has to say when it comes time for the organization’s official statement. And of course, the decision not to publicly reveal new Hawk Marian Hossa’s shoulder injury, when they signed him to a monstrous 12 year contract, the richest in Hawks history.
Hiding the Hossa injury pretty much validated the fears of Hawks fans who believed the team could become “Cubified” once they brought in former Chicago Cubs V.P. John McDonough (and with him his front office cohort Jay Blunk). Let’s take a look at the Cubification checklist
-Brilliantly marketed to become the hottest ticket in town. Check
-Created a huge following among sports die-hards and non-sports fans alike. Check
-Not disclosing accurate player injury information (Mark Prior, Kerry Wood etc.) Checkmate!
We’ve all heard about the Madden Curse, but what about NHL ’10? The video game is set to hit stores next month with Kaner on the cover. I imagine Electronic Arts will have some colorful board meetings Monday morning
On the 17th, I’ll be at Seven Bridges Ice Arena in Darien, IL to cover the orientation camp for Team USA Hockey. The entire American team will be there, including Kane. I have a feeling more than one reporter will ask Kane a question or two about the incident.Follow paulmbanks