Patrick Kane is expected to be in attendance when the Blackhawks open training camp Friday, and regardless of whether you think he’s a good guy or a bad guy, it’s only fair.
He hasn’t been charged with a crime and, unless something has drastically changed with the legal process in this country, he should be free to proceed with his life. That life includes hockey. It also apparently includes, at a minimum, doing dumb things in his free time, but until a grand jury decides he had done much, much worse, he should be allowed to earn his living.
The rest of it – the damage to the Hawks’ image, the distraction his presence will cause at camp – doesn’t matter. That’s surface stuff.
To those of you who believe that Kane should be suspended: for what reason could the Hawks or the NHL have sat him? For putting himself in a bad position? If the Hawks have evidence that he has done something criminal, that’s fine, but he hasn’t even been charged with anything. Hard to see a suspension holding up if Kane wanted to fight it in court. How did the Tom Brady suspension go for the NFL?
Advocating for Kane to be in camp is not advocating against a possible victim. That’s for the legal system to sort out. If he is charged and found guilty of something heinous, then his hockey and his freedom should be ripped from him.
But to suspend him now would be like anticipating someone is going to be diagnosed with terminal cancer and handing him a shovel. How about we wait until the test results come in?