Team USA Stands by Patrick Kane

patrick-kane2

By Paul M. Banks

When Patrick Kane read his apologetic public statement this morning, he delivered it just a couple feet away from a life-size poster of himself playing for Team USA.  His extremely brief remarks opened the U.S. Men’s National Team Orientation Camp; a practice session drawing a capacity crowd of 1,250 fans. A few hundred more were turned away. Many that did attend camped out the night before to guarantee admission. A good sized portion of the fans making the trek to Seven Bridges Ice Arena in Woodridge, Illinois did so wearing #88 Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks sweaters and t-shirts. Today, Kane was the rock star of the team, a bad boy in demand by hundreds of autograph seekers. But it’s not just the fans that are overwhelmingly supportive of Kane in his hour of need.

Team USA General Manager Brian Burke boldly endorsed Kane.  “I think it’s possible for a young man to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and make a poor decision. I know when I was Patrick Kane’s age I did a couple of things I wouldn’t want to talk about up here,” Burke said.usahockey-logo-pc3

Burke also made a valid point about the media, and the two-sided equation often involved with the reporting of a star athlete in legal trouble. “The normal process when it happens is unfortunate, but what comes with the salary when you’re a professional athlete, is that an incident like this gets huge play immediately. And when the athlete is later exonerated in anyway, it’s page 5 in the transactions column or something,” Burke said. “I’m not scolding the media for that, that’s the life that we all live,” he continued.

Burke later re-stated and elaborated this same point in different words with more emotion when answering another question about Kane. Of course, it’s hard to argue against the veracity of his point. But then again, photo-ops of players in the community doing charity work doesn’t “sell papers,” so (on the other hand) it’s also difficult to sympathize with Burke’s position.

Team USA’s GM went on to say that Kane’s situation does not affect his judgment of him, Kane’s focus on playing hockey and his ability to contribute to the team. “We’re here to get ready for 2010 and we’re not talking about Patrick Kane after we leave here…We’re going to Vancouver to win, and as far as I’m concerned this will play itself out. I wish I could talk more about it, I can tell you that.”

And what did the man himself, Patrick Kane have to say? “I haven’t really told anyone my side of the story to be honest with you,” Kane said Monday after his practice session. “The only one that really knows is my lawyer and my family. But that’s as far as it really goes.’’ Kane, just like every other player at camp, took questions from the media –although none regarding the incident in Buffalo were allowed- during his allotted time slot.

As much coverage as the Kane story has received, and continues to receive, a certain star athlete with legal troubles in another sport, has made even more headlines lately, as his recent reinstatement to the NFL has greatly overshadowed almost every other sports story.

“I was watching ESPN the other day and I’m watching Michael Vick give his speech and after that you hear people say that he’s not really sorry and things that,’’ Kane said.

Patrick Kane Addressing Allegations

Blackhawks Kane Arrested

By Paul M. Banks

On Monday morning, August 17th, Patrick Kane made his first public statement regarding the incident in Buffalo and the allegations against him. He opened the Team USA Men’s Hockey Orientation Camp by addressing the media gathered to cover the event.

Here’s what he said in his statement to the media

“Because I’ve put myself in the wrong place at the wrong time, I’ve caused a lot of pain for my family, the city, the organization the fans…and for that I’m sorry”.

Kane also said that he couldn’t make any comment on the legal proceedings. For obvious reasons. His time at the podium was extremely brief and the Team USA officials here said that Kane would not be able to take questions relating to his ongoing legal proceedings during his media availability time here at the camp.

He will be available to the media today and tomorrow, but will not answer any questions relating to what happened in Buffalo.

Patrick Kane to Address Media Monday Morning!

patrickkane21

By Paul M. Banks

For the first time since his arrest a week ago, Chicago Blackhawks star right wing, and alleged co-perpetrator of assault Patrick Kane will address the media regarding the “incident” in Buffalo. The 2009 U.S. Olympic Men’s Orientation Camp next week at Seven Bridges Ice Arena in Woodridge, Illinois commences Monday morning. Kane is obviously a member of that team, and since there will be a ton of media present…Here’s what the official statement from Team USA reads


“Patrick Kane will make a statement to begin the press conference we have scheduled for Monday at 9:15 a.m. in the media workroom. This will be the only time during the camp that Patrick will address the on-going legal proceedings he is part of in Buffalo.”

It doesn’t say whether Patrick will take questions or not. I’m guessing he won’t. I’m also making a very safe prediction here: his prepared statement will sound like it was poured over by numerous lawyers, image-consultants, public relations professionals etc….So it should be interesting to hear what he has to say. I’ll be there and hopefully tweeting from it. And I’m going to try and do a live post here at The Sports Bank, based on my tweets which you can follow here. This story has certainly created a firestorm on the blogs, and will probably continue generating even more headlines and web traffic as it develops further.

Oh and after the Kane statement, the Director of Team USA Hockey will give an introduction/synopsis of the camp, and they’ll unveil all three versions of their new 2010 Olympic jerseys shortly thereafter.

patrickkane

What??!! Patrick Kane, Seriously?

patrickkane2

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.

The Blackhawks-

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!

EA Sports-

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

Team USA-

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.