No. 1: Patrick Kane’s Offseason Splinters Fan Base
This is not a space to talk about if Patrick Kane did or did not sexually assault a woman in Buffalo in 2015. Nor is it a space to point out how Kane had an incredible on-ice season in 2015-16. This is a space to point out how much one alleged offseason action divided a fan base and made for a truly ugly spectacle, starting in 2015 and dragging into 2016.
Essentially, the Kane alleged rape was a black cloud hanging over the Blackhawks for the entire 2015-16 season. Some fans may not have seen it that way; some may have been able to quickly put it out of sight and out of mind. But that wasn’t the case for everyone, myself included — and I know I’m not the only one.
Da Windy City
Terrible comments were flung back and forth between fans and other fans, from fans to those covering the Blackhawks and the alleged rape case. It was all ugly, and shone a really dark light on the Blackhawks’ fan base throughout the season.
When the Blackhawks lost to the Blues in the postseason, for me, there was half a sense of frustration and sadness over the loss, and half a sense of relief this season could be put to rest. It just felt so … awful throughout, trying to justify to opposing teams’ fans and non-hockey fans how you could root for a team that employed an alleged rapist.
You can think what you want about my viewpoints on the ordeal, and you can think what you want about the entire case in general. But for me, the worst moment of 2016 for the Chicago Blackhawks was the continuation and aftershocks of the events involving Kane prior to the season.
I know this whole post was a real downer, so I’ll be back later this week with the Blackhawks’ top 10 best moments of the 2016 calendar year. I promise that one will be far more cheery.