|Kane enjoying Cinco de Mayo. (Deadspin)|
After the Chicago Blackhawks were eliminated in the first round by the Phoenix Coyotes of this year's playoffs, Patrick Kane decided to take time off instead of joining Team USA in the World Championships. That's fine. Not a lot of people were terribly fond of the choice, but it's his right.
But in that time off he found himself making news any way, spending his Cinco de Mayo -- the new St. Patrick's Day, just with Mexican beer instead of Irish beer -- at the University of Wisconsin. Pictures began popping up and, thanks to Deadspin, rather salacious stories started coming out about Kane's visit to Badger land.
To summarize, let's just say none of it was very flattering for Kane and, in turn, the Blackhawks. So the Chicago brass, led by GM Stan Bowman, had a talking to with their young star forward. From Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago.
"We've discussed it with Patrick and we've handled it internally," Bowman said Tuesday on a conference call to announce the signings of Johnny Oduya and Jamal Mayers. "We're obviously disappointed how it played out and Patrick is aware of that fact."
Bowman went on to say it was a private matter and that "out of respect to Patrick," the team would not comment further.
"We're going to look forward and try to focus on things, improving our team leading into the summer," Bowman said.
Kane's exploits in Wisconsin were magnified because Kane has had run-ins in the past as well. Nobody will forget -- or let Kane forget -- about the incident where he punched a cabbie back in his hometown of Buffalo.
I never had much of a problem with what Kane did, as far as going to have some fun on his offseason. But as more and more came in to Deadspin, it started to sound worse and worse what Kane was up to. Whether all of those reports were true or not, it reflected very poorly on Kane. Obviously, the Blackhawks felt they needed to talk to him.
There is little wrong with having fun and throwing back some drinks in the offseason. Almost every player is going to unwind and be a "normal guy" in the summer. That's likely not the concern with Kane. It's more about how visible he was and the fact that he reportedly was making quite a scene in Madison.
Going forward, this likely won't affect his hockey in any way. But we'll have to see if it affects Kane's off-ice demeanor down the line. With a couple of issues early in his career, it seems pretty clear that the organization that has a lot invested in him is trying to give him a wake-up call.