Back in May, the Chicago Blackhawks found themselves at a crossroads with star forward Patrick Kane. On the heels of another alcohol related incident, many wondered if the Hawks would attempt to rid themselves of the headache that he has become each summer.
Plenty of pictures surfaced of the Cinco de Mayo incident at the University of Wisconsin, as well as some stories along with them. Included in the accounts of his time in madison were conversations with the police, being kicked out of more than one bar, and allegedly trying to choke a woman, though how true that last one is remains to be seen.
This is obviously not the first incident involving Kane and alcohol. It’s a tour that has included public stops in Vancouver and Buffalo, as well as all over Chicago. This last incident earned him a slap on the wrist from the front office, as well as a stern “talking to” from some of his teammates.
This situation, as annoying as it may be, might actually be something that could play into the favor of both Kane and the Blackhawks. This one likely served as a wake-up call for Kane and could very well end up giving him some extra motivation for the upcoming season, whenever it actually begins.
The last two seasons have been, by his standards, disappointing. After 88 points back in 2009-2010, Kane has declined in his output the past two years including a career worst 66 points last year, despite playing in all 82 games. I’d expect that to change this year.
Since the incident and his conversation with the front office, Kane has been saying all the right things. Whether or not he’s actually put his partying ways behind him will have to be proven. But even if he hasn’t, if he could just manage to control himself in those situations, this wouldn’t even be an issue. But it is.
After a summer of criticism and bogus trade rumors, this could finally be the year we see Kane truly break out. He’s an elite talent, but has tried to do too much out on the ice the past two years. With some added motivation behind him, he could be in for a career year, or at least be among the best offensive players in the game, statistically.
Now all we need is a season.