Blackhawks News

Patrick Kane Goes Neutral

By Keith Schultz

Apr 19, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) during the first period of game four of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals against the Phoenix Coyotes at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

Due to the NHLPA and NHL lockout status at a standstill, the first real star of the Chicago Blackhawks and fifth overall has decided to play oversees. Patrick Kane announced that he has signed with the Swiss National A team EHC Biel during the lockout. Kane will join Boston Bruins Tyler Seguin who has also signed with the same Swiss Club.

One sure can look at this signing as though it’s about to get a lot darker in this standoff between the NHL Owners and the NHLPA before sunlight and a new CBA will be signed.  It’s one thing for the foreign players to head home to the KHL or other European teams during the lockout, but when an American born star like Kane decides to head for some playing time in Europe it sure feels as though it’s time to start pressing the panic button on the 2012-2013 season.

Maybe NBC will put it’s foot down a little harder on the owners and Gary Bettman to at least get talking, but it sure has all the markings of the last lockout all over again. The rumor has it that November 20th is the drop dead date for the Winter Classic so more than likely everyone involved will be in a holding pattern until the real sense of urgency hits home, with the NHL second biggest stage at hand.

The other Blackhawks that are already enjoying the European vacation are Michael Frolik, Viktor Stalberg, Michal Rozsival, and Byran Bickell. Most of the rest of the Hawks have been hanging around town playing at the local ice rinks.  If Jonathan Toews signs with a European team then I will know that every last ounce of hope is lost for this season.