Editorials

Will Patrick Kane Have A Leadership Role On Team USA?

By Mario Tirabassi
Apr 9, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) looks on during warmups prior to the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) looks on during warmups prior to the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

The World Cup Of Hockey Is Just Days Away

It’s finally September. We are finally into the month that begins the happiest time of all, Hockey season. Pat yourselves on the back everyone, we made it.

The World Cup of Hockey begins next week with preliminary tournament games and then hits the real action on September 17, when Team USA takes on Team Europe and Team Canada faces the Czech Republic.

Although, with just a week before teams report to their respective training camps, specifically Team USA reporting to Columbus in four days, there are still questions to be answered. Questions such as who will be in the leadership roles for Team USA?

More from Editorials

For Chicago Blackhawks fans, it’s already been announced that Captain Jonathan Toews will serve as one of Team Canada’s alternate Captains. For Patrick Kane of Team USA, though, the question still remains if he will be in the mix for a leadership role for the United States.

Check it out: Five Reasons For Optimism In 2016-17

Team USA Still Without Defined Leadership

Heading into Team USA’s training camp on September 5 in Ohio, there are still questions surrounding who will be named the Team Captain and alternates for the tournament. While it is widely considered all but a done deal that San Jose Sharks Captain Joe Pavelski will be named Team USA Captain, there still could be debates for a number of other Team USA members that are worthy of the leadership roles.

Most recently at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Team USA was Captained by Zach Parise of the Minnesota Wild with Parise’s teammate Ryan Suter and Los Angeles Kings Captain Dustin Brown serving as alternates. But with Brown off of the World Cup roster, and the rise of Pavelski as an elite star in United States Hockey, could Suter and Parise be looked over for the Captaincy? Not to mention, both Parise and Suter were named alternate captain’s for the 2010 Winter Olympic team in Vancouver.

There is certainly no lack of leadership candidates for Team USA outside of Parise and Suter, though.

When you really look at it, the only players on Team USA’s roster that haven’t had consistent leadership roles in the NHL are Kane and Justin Abdelkader.

Check it out: Five Reasons For Pessimism In 2016-17

Will Kane’s Off-Ice History Hold Him Back?

Having occasionally served as an alternate in Chicago this past year, Kane has expressed his interest in being named a leader for international play for the States, most recently, ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. But with so many options to choose from in the past, Kane has consistently been left out of set leadership roles for Team USA.

While Kane’s 2015-16 season was his most productive of his career, goes down as one of the best season’s an American-born player has had since the modern-era of the NHL and makes a strong case to have him be put into the fore-front of American Hockey, it came off of the most turbulent off-season he has ever had.

Never mind the assault on a cab driver in Buffalo.

Never mind the drunken antics in Madison.

Kane was accused of sexual assault and it turned into one of the weirdest and messiest high-profile athlete cases in recent memory. As we know, nothing came of it in the end, but the events of Kane’s past will always be synonymous with his on and off-ice image.

While no one is perfect, none of the other options that Team USA has on its roster have the checkered past of Kane. It seems a wide long-shot that Kane will be considered for a leadership role with Team USA for the World Cup of Hockey, and possibly in future tournaments as well. While Kane may be the player who is the face of Hockey in the United States, the honor may never come with an additional letter on his chest.

facebooktwitterreddit