Everything Else

This was our guest column last night in the gameday program, sent to us by Cyndi B., @spintheiryarns on Twitter. 

The last time I saw Patrick Kane play live was on December 3, 2014. It was a great night, a rivalry game against the Blues. St. Louis had just signed Brodeur, and I was hoping extra hard for Jake Allen to get pulled, so I could say I’d seen Marty Brodeur in net just once. Allen didn’t get pulled, but the PBK line chewed him up and spat him out anyway–three goals in five minutes. Kane had two in under three. The guy sitting next to me was a patronizing tool and insisted on hugging me after every Chicago goal, but it was worth it. There was no feeling quite like being there on a night when Kane was really on, when the crowd was already halfway to its feet every time he touched the puck.

On October 7 this year, when the Blackhawks opened against the Rangers, I was working late and watching a shitty livestream from my desk–nothing new there. Sure, Chicago fell down early and couldn’t make it back up, but it was fun hockey. Clean, evenly matched, fast-paced. I was pleased–except every time the crowd cheered a goal I started crying instead, because I remembered what that felt like and I don’t know how to ever get it back.

I think we can guess what happened in between.

Everything Else

We said this is how it would end the day it started, because it’s how these things almost always go. And everyone’s going to see what they want in the ending of the Patrick Kane rape investigation, because we’re at that point. Some will see the crumbling of an extortion of a famous hockey player. Some will see an accuser bullied into silence by an uncaring police or the frothing masses protective of a hockey player they’ll never meet. Never the twain shall meet, which I suppose it part of the problem. At least there’s time there’s not a Shecky Greene of a Tallahassee prosecutor cracking jokes after saving the Noles’ QB’s ass.

As most logical minded have said, no matter where they side, we’ll never know what happened that night for sure. For some, that cloud of uncertainty provides enough shelter to go on about fandom in the normal way. “Hey, I don’t know for sure, so why should I have to give up this thing I love?” I don’t know that that’s evil or wrong, we’re all trying to figure this out and lord knows it’s hard enough to find things in this world that make you happy. Some will have that cloud of uncertainty still cause an ill feeling in the stomach when watching the Hawks and/or Kane, which is still where I am. “How can I commit fully when I don’t know for sure?”

Obviously, I know there are plenty feeling like they won something today and gloating, as if this was just another contest for Kane and the Hawks to take on and conquer. That’s not what these things are, but it’s how they are treated.

Everything Else

So our friend Greg Boysen, who works for about 45 different sites now, tweeted out this little nugget from EJ Hradek on MSG last night. Well, actually Hradek was on MSG on Monday but we got it yesterday anyway you get it shut up. It’s a quick story, but basically Hradek reported that the Hawks didn’t want Patrick Kane to attend camp and did try and actively keep him from attending.

That’s nice… except if you think about it for more than four consecutive seconds it pretty much seems like utter bullshit.

Everything Else

I absolutely promise we’ll get back to player previews later this afternoon. Right after I try out the demo of PES ’16. But this feels like a good time to try and maybe attempt to take some of the heat out of all this that’s been building. And some of it is certainly my fault and unnecessary. This is always going to be a passionate subject. There are a lot of raw nerves exposed for a lot of people on this. We can’t remove all of the emotion, nor should we. But as someone who likes to think of himself as somewhat reasonable, I really shouldn’t let trolls bait me into a pure rage or tweet or write things without trying to carefully parse out what it is I really want to say (so no more tweeting and drinking for ol’ Shmuel, at least not about this. Which basically means no tweeting). That doesn’t mean there aren’t times when anger and rage are called for, because there are. I can just pick my spots a little better.

I understand that basically at the moment, there are two warring camps. And on something like this, it’s damn near impossible to find middle ground (and probably not at all). What comes next isn’t addressed to the over-creatined, fanboy, fratboy jerkoffs with their backwards white hats spewing filth from just about every pore. I don’t care what they think and never will, and nor should anyone else. But there is a strong group not near the fringes but near the middle that I and we have sometimes lumped in with that lunatic fringe (no, not Dean Ambrose). Perhaps that’s not totally fair. While I’m not here to “convert” anyone, I think it’s possible to build more understanding between us. Because believe it or not, on some level I do understand where you’re coming from. Keep reading, I’ll explain.

Everything Else

I feel like I need to state at the top that I am hardly an expert. Not even close. What will follow, and really what will follow and pretty much has been going on here (despite whatever has been thrown at us) are simply fans like you trying to find anyway to get their arms around all this and comprehend what is going on. Today, that feels like a Herculean task at the very best.

By now you probably know the news, but a quick recap of the facts that we know. The lawyer for the accuser had a press conference, where he revealed that the rape kit, which is supposed to be sealed and inaccessible, was left at the accuser’s mother’s doorstep. The bag it was sealed in had been ripped open, which makes it clear (or very close to it) that it had been tampered with.

What all that means beyond… I and many others are having a hard time figuring out where the first step is.

Everything Else

The gift that just keeps on giving roared awake again late this morning/early this afternoon, as reports broke that the grand jury that was supposed to hear the Patrick Kane investigation/case has been postponed, with reports suggesting it was due to settlement talks between the camps.

At this point, we all know the various reasons both sides could have for seeking a settlement, and to have a debate on it would lead to a lot of yelling and anger on both sides. So I’m not going to do that today. And we don’t know that a settlement is going to happen, though most with a better feel for these sort of things are leaning that way.

But if it were to, there is a practical and then theoretical fallout for the Hawks organization, and Hawks fans.

Everything Else

So I was going to kick off our season preview today, but Mark Lazerus’s column today in the Sun-Times is deserving of focus. And a lot of it. There is so much to parse out from it. If you haven’t yet, read it and come back to this.

So let’s take it on in no particular order.

-In some ways, this situation is a lot simpler than it looks, and a lot more complicated in others.

For instance, if Kane is charged, it probably works out pretty easily. He’ll be suspended by the league or Hawks or both, whoever gets there first I would imagine. And he’ll almost have certainly played his last game for the Hawks, unless through the process of finding out what the evidence during hearings and a possible triel is it is glaringly clear he is not just “not guilty,” but innocent (and there is a difference, which it feels like some people don’t get).

Everything Else

If you haven’t seen it, the Trib today ran a profile of the Erie County DA who will be handling this case, if it becomes a case, Frank Sedita III. I’m almost certainly in above my head when discussing the nuances here, and this post probably best serves as a launch point for the various lawyers who are friends of the site to explain it out better in the comments.

Obviously, to everyone certain things jump out. His “choosiness,” for lack of a better term, is one. But I’m guessing like most other big city District Attorney offices, Erie County’s would have limited time and resources and prosecuting every case that comes into it is an impossibility, especially if Buffalo’s court system is anywhere near as backed up as Chicago’s. I don’t know what the proper balance is here, and I hope someone or a few can hash it out in response to this.

Everything Else

It’s been one week since the Blackhawks world was turned upside down by Patrick Kane being investigated for rape. We’ve been in something of a holding pattern since, with only drips and drabs (what’s a drab anyway?) leaking out of the investigation, and some of it on the flimsy side. Let’s try and establish where we are.

-I feel like there’s a section of people that need a civics lesson when discussing thing. Much like the 1st Amendment seems to cause confusion, “innocent until proven guilty” only applies in a certain setting. That would be a court of law, much like the 1st Amendment only applies to the government trying to censor speech. It’s why the NFL or NHL can fine a player for criticizing the referees, as they are a private organization and not a government (well, the NFL might be soon).