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Chicago Blackhawks: Kane Listed On Camp Roster

By Colin Likas
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Let the circus begin.

Just two days before the start of Chicago Blackhawks training camp at the University of Notre Dame, the team announced that star forward Patrick Kane is on the roster, meaning he likely will be in attendance. This news comes as the rape investigation involving Kane has once again stagnated, though it appears a grand jury hearing, to decide whether Kane should be charged with a crime, will occur by the end of this month.

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This decision would seem to indicate Kane won’t be suspended from hockey until more facts are released publicly about the case. If the Blackhawks wanted to keep Kane away from training camp, it seems likely they could have persuaded Kane not to show up at camp. We can’t know at this time what was and wasn’t said behind closed doors.

There’s a good chance the Blackhawks brass knows more about the inner workings of the investigation than we do, and they must be satisfied with what they’ve heard so far to the point that they’re not opposing Kane coming to camp.

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So, what does this mean? Let’s start with the obvious: Every media member in attendance in South Bend on Friday will swarm Kane, and it’s likely he’s going to have to say something. Even if it’s just “I have no comment on this time,” his silence will be broken this weekend unless the Blackhawks manage to shuttle him to and from camp practices without outsiders getting near him. Knowing the Blackhawks pretty much left Corey Crawford to fend for himself when he fell down some stairs at a concert, Kane will probably have to address the media at some point.

It also means Kane could be on the ice for Opening Night at the United Center. I say could because the grand jury hearing will reportedly occur before the Blackhawks and Rangers take the ice on Oct. 7, so something could change in that respect. But Kane is going on as if he’s preparing for another season until further notice.

As far as training camp goes, the Blackhawks are going to need to be sure all their other players are well versed in what they can and cannot say to the media regarding Kane, because you know they’ll all be asked at least one question about how they feel about the situation. The important thing for every player not named Kane is focusing on his own efforts to get ready for the upcoming season, and to make the roster, in the case of some younger players.

Is it going to be a distraction for those guys? Absolutely. But hopefully the likes of Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith and Marian Hossa will help younger guys be able to tune it all out and focus on the task at hand, which is preparing the team for a Stanley Cup defense.

A side note to this: The response we’ve received to an earlier poll about Kane at training camp was close to evenly split. When asked if you the readers want to see Kane at camp, 57 percent of voters (152 people) said yes, while 117 more said no. It will be interesting to see how Blackhawks fans react to Kane’s upcoming public appearances, though that’s not the most important issue in this ordeal by a long shot.

Next: Chicago Blackhawks: Over/Under Marko Dano

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