If you’re an NHL fan and your team is in the news in the middle of August, it’s probably not a good thing. If you had any doubts about this theory, Alex Burrows and his pond hockey exploits should have helped remove them last week. If you’re especially slow, Patrick Kane and his alleged assault on a Buffalo cab driver should make everything crystal clear. I’m guessing there are going to be a few jokes that stem from this situation; but that’s just me.
Here’s the quick and dirty: Patrick Kane and his cousin caught a cab home and were getting dropped off at 4:30 in the morning. The total fare was $13.80; the cousins gave the cab driver $15.00. He had a $1 bill, but didn’t have the additional 20 cents to make change. The cousins proceeded to beat the hell out of the driver, take the $15 dollars that they were going to give for the cab ride and then take the rest of the money. Of course, all of these accusations still get the “allegedly” tag until more facts come out. In the meantime, here’s the report from WIVB in Buffalo:
Let me defend Patrick Kane for a minute. We’ve all been there with a taxi driver that says, “I don’t have change” and pockets and extra few cents. It’s always a little annoying and when I’m in a particularly bad mood, it pisses me off. Just because it seems like every cab driver in the world does it, doesn’t make it right. So if this was another instance of a taxi driver saying he didn’t have change, let me just say I’m a tad skeptical. You’re telling me that he didn’t have a couple of dimes after working all night? He didn’t even have a quarter?
But that’s it. No more defending a privileged kid that acted like an arrogant spoiled child over 20 cents.
Did you hear that? The cab driver has accused that the entire incident started over 20 cents. That’s $.20 with a decimal point…. not $20 and not $2… 20 fucking cents. To top off the incident (aside from the choking and punching) the cab driver accuses the cousins ran off ALL of his money. And this is supposed to be one of the bright young superstars that are supposed to lead the Blackhawks to the promise land? Yeah, the Blackhawks future is so bright; I have to wear face protector.
There’s no way around it—Patrick Kane comes off as a complete douchebag. Yes, I said douchebag. I could say that he sounded like a jerk or a prima donna—but those are things reserved for guys that are just annoying. When you punch a guy in the face in the wee hours of the morning, you’re a douchebag. I don’t care if you’re a frat guy from Middle America, a movie star that’s followed by the paparazzi or a hot shot hockey player returning to your hometown. If you do what he’s accused of doing, you’re a douchebag. And yes, I’m going for a world record for Most Times “Douchebag” was used in a single paragraph.
Getting into the legal part of the story, the cab driver filed charges against both of the Kane cousins:
“Both men were charged with second-degree robbery, fourth-degree criminal mischief, and theft of services.” –Shorthanded Breakaway
Kane and his cousin have already pleaded “not guilty,” so it should be a lot of fun to see how long it takes for Kane’s attorney to make a plea bargain and settle for “probation.” Come on, does anyone really think that there’s any other outcome to these legal problems? It’s not going to trial and a superstar hockey player (and hometown hero) certainly isn’t going to jail—which leaves probation.
That brings to the question: Should we really be surprised that something like this happened? Kane played his junior hockey 3 hours away with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. Dude was the #1 overall pick in the 2007 Draft and then won the Calder Trophy for the league’s Rookie of the Year in the 2007-08 season. Last season, he played an integral part on the young Chicago Blackhawk team that made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals. Basically, it’s been Patrick Kane’s world for the last few years—we’re just livin’ in it.
Now let’s take a step back and think about the circumstances around the incident. Patrick Kane is only 20 years old and his cousin is only 21. The cab ride came to a conclusion at 4:30 in the morning in Buffalo. Nothing good is going to come from a 20 and 21 year old hanging out and getting home at 4:30 in the morning (well, there’s one thing good that happens when you’re drunk, but yeah… this isn’t it). You know, last time I checked—21 is still the legal drinking age in Buffalo. Just add another cherry on top of the crap sundae.
The only thing that is worse than this story for the NHL is the TIMING of the story. Would it have been possible for Kane to pick a worse time to do this if he tried? There’s NOTHING going on in the world of hockey—so what do you think everyone is going to be talking about? I was at a Dodgers game and my phone was blowing up all afternoon. Sure, part of it is that it’s an unbelievable story. But just as big of a problem is that there are a bunch of hockey writers with a ton of time on their hands right now. How do you think they’ll be filling the next few days? Way to go Patrick.
But not all the news is bad here. I’m a “glass is half full” kind of guy and there is an underreported positive here! For the first time since 2007 when Kane was drafted, he actually hit someone. Yes, it wasn’t on the rink and no it wasn’t legal (allegedly)—but that’s just splitting hairs. Look at the positives people! Every cloud has a silver lining. Call me an optimist.
Maybe the coaching staff can convince Kane that the Red Wings owe him some change. Just imagine the fire!
For completeness sake, there’s another part of this story that may come to light in the next few days. There are rumors floating around that this incident could have something to do with drugs. So let me address those rumors right here and now. First, I don’t believe the rumors. Secondly, I don’t WANT to believe those rumors. I have nothing to do with the Blackhawks, but that would be AWFUL for his team, the league and the sport as a whole. I’m sure if that you care that much, you can Google it and find something. There—they have been addressed.
Let the jokes commence…