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Chicago Blackhawks: Kane At Camp Could Be Distracting

By Matt Barbato

The Chicago Blackhawks released their 2015 training camp roster Wednesday, and one name that showed up on the list will likely cause some controversy.

Patrick Kane appeared on Chicago’s camp roster and is expected to be at Notre Dame on Thursday when the Blackhawks report for training camp. Kane is still under investigation for allegedly raping a woman at his house in Hamburg, N.Y., in the beginning of August.

Nobody knew how the Blackhawks would handle the situation with Kane’s investigation still in limbo. Kane’s grand jury hearing was postponed from Sept. 8 and has yet to be rescheduled. There were contradictory reports regarding the reason for the postponement. The Buffalo News reported settlement talks were the reason for the delay. The rescheduled date is reportedly going to be at the end of this month, and a story by the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday attempted to clear up some of the confusion.

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Kane has not spoken publicly about the incident. Blackhawks president John McDonough, general manager Stan Bowman and head coach Joel Quenneville are expected to address what should be a media frenzy this afternoon in South Bend, Ind.

The Blackhawks will be starting their title defense Friday, and the latest Kane news could serve as a major distraction for new and old players. In what seems to be a bit of poor PR management from the Hawks, players such as Jonathan Toews and Bryan Bickell have spoken rather candidly about the topic.

“I think you just have to have confidence that things like that will resolve themselves over time,” Toews recently told TSN 1290 radio in Winnipeg. “For the time being, you stay together as a team. You support your teammate … uh, teammate, teammates that are maybe going through a rough patch. You know, we saw it last year with some rumors that spread around through social media about several guys in the locker room. It’s not the first time we’ve seen situations like that, and eventually you deal with it internally and you stay together as a team and your confidence as individuals and as a group that everyone kind of stays together.”

This will also be an interesting environment for newcomers Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Ryan Garbutt, Trevor Daley and others to walk into. These players are expected to help replace stars such as Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya, but they could face questions about Kane’s off-ice transgressions during their early days with the Blackhawks.

Although Kane has not been charged with a crime, some expected the Blackhawks to put Kane on a leave of absence. There will be plenty to come from today’s press conference regarding the team’s stance on the situation.

Next: Patrick Kane Settlement (Still) In Works

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