Team USA welcomes bad boy Kane
Woodridge, Ill. --
There is an undeniable smirk on that
Kane was "moving ahead," he said, although in truth he went sideways, out a door on the first day of the three-day U.S. Olympic orientation camp, wiping sweat off his brow with each hand as he and a mute Bowman walked down the ramp. Kane also apologized, although as apologies go the past couple of days, this was more 60 seconds than
For a Stanley-Cup winning GM who has made a nice career by stressing the importance of character on his hockey teams, Burke must have been galled that Kane had ended up with his mug shot plastered over Internet, looking like a punk. But when asked about the world's most famous taxi passenger, Burke proclaimed Kane's alleged dustup with a Buffalo taxi driver in the early hours two weekends ago did not in the least reveal a character flaw. He argued it was simply a case "of the wrong place at the wrong time."
"I know when I was Patrick Kane's age," Burke said, "I did a couple of things I wouldn't want to talk about up here."
To refresh the memory about the wrong place and the wrong time, the 20-year-old Kane was swanning around the bistros of Chippewa Street in Buffalo, sometime after 4 a.m. on Aug. 9. (Now, it is unlikely that alcohol was involved in the incident because this young boulevardier is not of legal age and there is no way he or the fine establishments in the area would have broken the law by serving him, correct?) In any case, the fare registered $13.80 on the meter, and the taxi driver said Kane and his cousin were not satisfied by the dollar they received as change. (Apparently the cabbie was a day late and two dimes short.)
In the ensuing contretemps, if the driver is to be believed, Kane's cousin and the 2008 NHL Rookie of the Year gave him a physical what-for, a dust-up in which the cabbie's face was scraped and his glasses broken. Certainly the driver didn't inflict those boo-boos himself.
(While the felony robbery charge and those accompanying misdemeanors vanish, there is absolutely no doubt that when Kane skates by an opposing bench this season at least one wisenheimer is guaranteed to shout "ta-XI!" Kane later conceded he expects to take a ribbing.)
The wrong place/wrong time explanation rang hollow for a young NHL star with a great game -- remember, Washington's
According to future USA Olympic teammates, Kane seemed subdued on the bus from downtown to the training camp in the western suburbs of Chicago. Some even called Kane "a good kid," which probably was less a character assessment than an expression of solidarity.
There but for the grace of cell phone cameras ...
Rather than marking Modano lousy for his ridicule and blacklisting him -- Hockey Canada is suspected of doing exactly that to
Burke will put another 40 names on the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency list just in case, including graybeards such as
Wilson said Monday he didn't think he would have the chance to coach an Olympic team again but said it had nothing to do with the disgrace in the Village. These coaching jobs, he suggested, seem to move around.
The apologists said the boys were just being boys in 1998 when USA Hockey tarnished its reputation with its Village folly. The same players are all men now, a status to which Kane -- who later signed autographs to the point of carpal tunnel syndrome practice Monday - should aspire over the years.
Given his serious mien, Kane might be thinking about the maturation process before the legal system puts in its two, or 20, cents.