If someone told you on Saturday morning that by the next morning, a former Blackhawks first round pick will be arrested for allegedly beating up a taxi driver, there’s probably a 100% chance the words “Kyle” and “Beach” would be the first two words out of your mouth.
When Bobby and I made our maiden voyage to HockeeNight’s Puckcast way back when, we were talking about Patrick Kane. At the time, I said my biggest fear for Kane is that he would become a miniature Al Iafrate because of a couple interviews when he went out of his way to talk about going to the bars. For those who don’t remember, Iafrate had a million dollar shot and a thousand dollar bar tab. He also was notorious for his drunken brawls, though it’s not known if he ever delivered a mean right hook to his cab driver.
There’s still a whole lot of details in this story that will eventually come out. Before they do, let’s keep the phony outrage and the ‘holier than thou’ commentary to a minimum.
Anyone who was under the impression that professional hockey players are any different from other athletes have probably been sucking the fumes out of a zamboni machine for too long. Young people with a lot of money tend to do a lot of stupid things regardless of their race, credo, or sporting profession.
If this was a football or basketball player, the typical people would be spouting off about the ‘thug’ life and losing their friends from the ‘hood. Since he’s a hockey player, these same people will feel betrayed that someone like Kane could do this. They’ll find excuses calling him a bad seed and say he’s just the exception to the rule.
The bottom line is, all sports athletes are essentially the same. There’s some genuinely good people, some bad people, and some people who put themselves in unfortunate situations. Just because this is a sport played predominantly by caucasians and Canadians doesn’t mean there aren’t the same amount of idiots running around as the NFL, NBA, or MLB.
Where Kane fits into all that, only time will tell.
The best thing to come out of this though, at least we’ve finally found out who the Bobby Hull of this new generation is.