Sorry Canada, but hockey is ours now. While ice hockey will remain as Canada’s premiere sport, probably until the end of time, and football will remain king in the U.S., for the first time in 46 years no Canadian teams will make the NHL playoffs.
What makes things even worse for Canada is 46 years ago, there were only two of two Canadian teams who didn’t make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This time around there are seven total NHL teams in Canada who were eliminated from playoff contention, all with several games left in the NHL season.
Not since 1993 has a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup and not since 2011 has a Canadian team even made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, and this year will mark an 22nd straight year that an American team will take home the Cup.
This alone is not why hockey is ours now, after all even though U.S. teams are dominant in the NHL today, they all have plenty of imports from Canada. However this year will also mark the first time that an American born player will win the NHL’s coveted Art Ross Trophy, awarded to the player with the most points in the regular season.
Unless Jamie Benn can put up 12 points in 2 games, or Sidney Crosby can get 18 in 4 games, both while having the number one spot remain pointless in his next 3 contests, Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane will become the first ever American born player to win the Art Ross. Kaner is also the favorite for the Hart Trophy, given to the league’s Most Valuable Player. If he takes home the Hart as well, he will become the first American born-and-raised player to do such.
New York-born Billy Burch won the trophy in the ’20s, however he moved to Toronto at an early age.
This isn’t all. Sales have also been dominated by American teams. While the Montreal Canadians consistently remain as one of the top selling NHL teams, a Canadian team has not reached the number one spot in attendance since the 2007-2008 season.
Don’t worry Canada, just as you have been dominating our music scene in the past few years, we have dominated hockey. Both Justin Bieber and hockey are ours now.
You will always have a big place in the history of hockey though. However, if you don’t start getting your act together, hockey will only continue to evolve into an American sport.
We will gladly take your exports, after all, the Blackhawks couldn’t prosper without Jonathan Toews and Corey Crawford, but hockey is only getting bigger in the States.
Broadcasting in 212 territories spanning 643 million homes and a potential TV viewership of 4.7 billion people, the Barclays Premier League is the most watched soccer league in the world. These numbers reflect the popularity of a sport that has continuous action on and sometimes off the pitch. It’s also a testament of an increasing fan base that covers almost all continents around the globe. However, for American sports fans, it’s still somewhat of a challenge appreciating the league as a whole and rooting for a specific club.
Part of the United States’ lack of appeal with soccer is it’s equally fascinating sports teams in major leagues such as the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, the Major League Baseball, and the National Football League. Take our beloved Chicago, for instance. Our city takes pride in having the most marketable teams in the world. The teams obviously include the Bulls, the Blackhawks, the Cubs, and the Bears – all of which consider the Windy City their home. But for prospective fans of the Premier League, it’s not too late to start cheering for a soccer club; all it takes is a little mirror comparison with these Chicago-based teams.
Chicago Bulls (NBA)
Like the Chicago Bulls, Chelsea has seen a lot of ups and downs in recent memory. The club has gone from the pinnacle of the Premier League to the base of relegation and back. Before the beginning of the season, Chelsea were favorites to recapture the crown. Now though, they are facing life without successful manager Jose Mourinho and their captain John Terry who announced his intentions to leave when he becomes a free agent. Additionally, as the roll of the ball would have it – like the Bulls – the Blues are underachieving this season. On the other side of the coin, it still has iconic players, akin to the Michael Jordans, the Scottie Pippens, and the Derrick Roses of the NBA, like John Terry, who has been with the club since the start of his youth career in 1995, for now at least.
Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have become perennial contenders for the Stanley Cup trophy. Manchester City, on the other hand, have also comfortably settled with competing at the top of the Premier League table in the last 5 seasons. Both teams recently won championships and even continued to revamp their rosters from top to bottom. For Chicago Blackhawks sports fans, City remains their soccer counterpart, especially with all the key acquisitions and the potential to once again bag the title.
Chicago Cubs (MLB)
They say that misery loves company. And what better way to share the dishonor of decade’s even century’s worth of frustration than in sports. The Chicago Cubs and Newcastle United have a common denominator in terms of being a wealthy team that has never won a league championship in almost a century. In layman’s term, they are these popular, overly attractive prom queens who grew up to always be the bridesmaid and never the bride. With the way things are going right now for the Magpies, the team looks like they will drop down from maid of honor to an evening guest.
Chicago Bears (NFL)
After selling Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke to Manchester City and Liverpool, respectively, Aston Villa’s future in Premier League looks bleak. There will always be history involved when talking about the Villans, as they are (or were) a strong English team that are appealing and intriguing at the same time. With the infamous Tim Sherwood receiving his pink slip in the midst of a dismal season, who knows what the future holds for Aston Villa in the Championship next season.
Chicago Blackhawks’ Duncan Keith played a major role in helping the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup last season and this February the star defenseman is playing a major role in helping families in need with his annual charity concert. This year Keith has invited country music star Dustin Lynch for a February 22nd charity show benefiting “Keith Relief”, Duncan’s charity which is dedicated to alleviating the financial and emotion burdens of families and individuals dealing with medical crises.
The show will take place on Monday, February 22, 2016 at 7:45 PM at Joe’s on Weed Street. Ticket’s come in two forms, $80.00 general admission tickets as well as $250 VIP tickets which include a VIP reception prior to the concert (6:30 PM) which will include drinks, appetizers and the opportunity to meet a number of your favorite Blackhawks. A silent auction will be open through the show, in addition to a live auction before the concert. Funds raised will benefit Keith Relief and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.
With less than a minute left in regulation, Patrick Kane gained a game tying assist to force overtime between his Chicago Blackhawks and the Anaheim Ducks last night. Not only did his assist help his team to a 3-2 victory, but it extended his current point streak to 18, tied for the largest point streak ever by an American-born player in the NHL.
In the past 18 games, Kaner has 10 goals, 19 assists and an impressive total of 29 points.
Today, the 2015 Stanley Cup champs face the Los Angeles Kings (winners of the cup in 2014), giving Kane the chance to extend his point streak even further, and make him the sole holder of the American points streak record.
As Kane has the chance to make history tonight, it raises the question of whether or not, the 27-year-old Kane is already the best American born hockey player in the history of the NHL?
If all goes Kane’s way tonight, his point streak will not be the only accolade to support his greatness. The Hawks’ forward has already won 3 Stanley Cups and is only one of four American born players to win the Conn Smythe trophy, awarded to the MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs. And while Patrick Kane only took home the Conn Smythe one of three years which the Hawk’s won the cup in recent history, he has played big roles in all three wins, as #88 is one of the best players in the playoffs.
In his 116 playoff games played, Kane has put up an amazing 114 points.
While three other Americans have been dubbed the MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs in the past, no American has ever been named the regular season’s MVP, the Hart Memorial Trophy. While that may sound surprising, you’d also be surprised to hear that no American born player has ever led the league in points at the regular season’s end either, the Art Ross Trophy. Kane was on this track last year, until he suffered an injury in the second half of the season/
If things continue at their current pace, Kane just make take home both. Currently Kane leads the league in points and assists at 35 and 22 respectively. Kane also is 2nd in the league in total goals. Just weeks ago on his 27th birthday, Patrick Kane led the NHL in points, goals, assists and plus/minus. While the reigning Stanley Cup Champions have struggled at times this season, and despite a rape investigation, which has now been dropped but trickled into the regular season, Kane has been on fire.
Kane is playing the best hockey of his career and if things ended today, the Blackhawks’ star forward would take home the Art Ross and likely the Hart Memorial.
It’s hard to imagine having the discussion of “the best ever” for any category, when the player still has a couple seasons until they turn 30, but the numbers don’t lie. Kane has already achieved what only a microscopic group of Americans have done before him and he is easily on pace to do a number of things that no one from the U.S. has ever done.
If he isn’t already the best American to ever do it, talk to me in a year!
CHICAGO, IL — Just when it looked like Patrick Kane was on the track to clear his name from the on-going rape allegation, after speaking to media with confidence that he would be absolved from any wrongdoing and after fans greeted him with cheers last night at the United Center, a cloud of doubt was again cast over him as the attorney of his accuser, Thomas Eoannou, presented some serious allegations in front of the media this afternoon.
According to Eoannou, an empty evidence bag (that Eoannou believes to be legitimate) was received on the doorstep of the accuser’s mother’s home. “In my 30 years plus of being both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, I have never seen an evidence bag outside of a police lab, a prosecutor’s office or a courtroom, let alone find one in the doorway of a rape victim mother’s home,” said Eoannou. Eoannou also called for an independent investigation, outside the local authorities, to look into the matter.
While many were quick to again doubt the integrity of the Chicago Blackhawk’s star forward, and assume that Eoannou’s allegation’s were true and that Kane (or someone close to Kane) potentially tampered with the evidence, the Town of Hamburg Police Department issued the following statement:
“In regard to the information conveyed today by Mr. Thomas Eoannou, the Hamburg Police Department will cooperate with any authorized investigation regarding the handling of evidence and the procedure of such. That said, The Hamburg Police Department has documentation that unequivocally demonstrates that it’s handling of the evidence and the integrity of it’s chain of custody of evidence in this case is unassailable. As is policy with active investigations, there will be no further comment regarding this situation.”
In simpler terms, the Hamburg Police Department has full confidence, through its evidence of documentation, that there is no reason to question the integrity and handling of its evidence in this matter.
Of course anything can happen, but unlike the attorneys for both the accuser and Kane, the Hamburg Police Department has no obvious motive for tampering with the evidence.
Accusing or hinting that someone, especially the opposing side in an on-going investigation, is a serious accusation, but if we are to believe the Hamburg Police Department, then there is no reason to question the evidence in the case, as well as the various reports that the evidence of the rape kit demonstrated that Kane’s DNA was not found on the accuser’s genitals or undergarments.
Although lack of DNA evidence does not necessarily prove one’s innocence in a rape allegation, prosecutors say that cases where a rapist uses a condom (therefore no DNA evidence) are extremely rare.
CHICAGO, IL — Many were left surprised this week as the Chicago Blackhawks released their training camp roster, for the team’s forthcoming camp at the University of Notre Dame, because one star player was not left off that list.
Despite an ongoing investigation and forthcoming grand jury (according to multiple reports) over an alleged sexual assault that involves Hawk’s star forward Patrick Kane, Kane still appeared on the roster. And while a roster spot does not explicitly confirm his attendance, a Blackhawks spokesperson said that all players on the roster are expected to be at the camp.
It cannot be said enough that Kane has currently not been charged with a crime.
This news built a lot of anticipation for the Hawks’ press conference today. Believed to address the Kane situation (and confirmed by Blackhawks’ GM Stan Bowman), team officials would have almost no choice but to field some difficult questions that support Kane’s status on the team.
Deciding to not avoid the issue that the defending Stanley Cup Champions are on-going, as a huge surprise, Patrick Kane himself spoke to the media (for the first time since the allegations).
Kane took the time to apologize to his fans, teammates, family and the Hawks organization for the distraction that the allegations have cause. “I am confident that once all the facts come to light, I will be absolved in having done nothing wrong,” Kane told reporters.
After his opening statement, Kane understandably could not answer many questions about the legal process but he expressed that he is excited for camp and ready for the new season.
It is good to see Kane and the Hawks are still standing strong together.
I’m trying to think like a pessimistic journalist, and I don’t get some of you.
In the Chicago Tribune this week, Contract Reporter Steve Rosenbloom wrote a column on his inability to understand the thought process behind Chicago Blackhawks fans who have decided to stand by Patrick Kane while he is currently involved in an investigation for an alleged sexual assault.
He may not get you Hawks fans, but I do. Actually, it is Rosenbloom and the many other reporters who are quick to throw Patrick Kane under the bus and jump to conclusions, despite the fact that Kane has still not been charged with a crime, whom I do not understand.
In his column, Rosenbloom asks fans, “Why aren’t you mad at Kane?”
I would have to answer his question, with another question,
“At this point in time, why would you be mad at Kane?”
While I understand why sponsors (like EA Sports) are quick to cut all ties with athletes whenever an allegation pops up, that is for their own financial benefit and from a precautionary angle, but why must Blackhawks fan jump ship?
It can’t be said enough that Patrick Kane has not been charged with any crime over the alleged incident. In fact, police have only confirmed that there is an investigation of an incident that occurred at Kane’s home, not even confirming whether Kane is involved in, or is a subject of, that investigation.
Despite everyone (beside Kane and his accuser) having no evidence or first hand knowledge of the situation, news outlets are quick to come at Kane and leak stories which tend to lead their readers to certain conclusions. “There is a loud group of fans blindly defending Kane from the start,” writes Rosenbloom. However it is those on the other side who are speaking blindly.
When news organizations release and share news, that is often meant to be confidential, that leads people to jump the gun and assume Kane is guilty. Kane is known as a party animal and has got himself into trouble in the past, but nothing like this. However because of his bad boy past, which many believe he has long since graduated from, people now assume he is a felon, again without being charged of a crime.
“I am absolutely astounded by how quickly people come to opinions and how they pour concrete so fast without having one single fact,” said District Attorney Frank Sedita, who is in charge of Kane’s fate.
Sedita warned people not to come to opinions about the investigation, opinions that Rosenbloom and others have already come to. “What happens if that investigation – after I’ve announced that this person is under investigation – what happens if that investigation clears somebody? The point is, that person cannot get their reputation back. That person will always have a cloud over their head.” Sedita is right, and because “leaking the story” is too attractive to new outlets who profit off hits and clicks, that cloud has already casted itself over Kane and rained on his permanent reputation.
For the same reason that the accuser’s friends, family and community should not assume she is a liar that’s trying to exploit an athlete for money, we should not assume Kane performed such an absolutely unforgivable act. Rape is right there with murder, and to associate someone with something that horrible, they should not only be charged but found guilty of that heinous act. The Chicago Tribune reporter reminded his fans that they “don’t know what happened,” but neither does he.
Rosenbloom then cites EA Sports taking Kane off the cover of their new video game and the NHL keeping Kane out of their annual media kickoff tour as evidence, almost suggesting that they believe Kane must be guilty. However, on the other side of things, the Blackhawks today have confirmed that Patrick Kane will attend their upcoming training camp, and for the same reason that Kane’s supporters are currently by his side… He has not been charged with a crime! Even if he was charged with a crime, a lengthy trial would then determine whether or not Kane committed that crime.
So as it stands now, a District Attorney is not convinced that Kane, more likely than not, committed a crime. Because of this uncertainty, a grand jury will now decide whether Kane will be charged (again not if he is guilty, but if there is even enough likelihood he committed a crime that he should therefore be charge with one).
Yes, rapes are hard to prove and just because someone is not convicted of sexual assault does not mean they didn’t commit one. But none-the-less, there is no reason that Blackhawks fans should be quick to pass blame on Patrick Kane. Bill Cosby supporters, have nearly 50 accusers with similar accounts, lawsuits, settlements, and therefore an overwhelming amount of evidence against them that suggest that Cosby has drugged and date raped women, despite not serving time for such acts. In this case we have only a couple news outlets which purport that Kane allegedly raped a woman. No charges. No lawsuit. No suspension. No found guilt.
This is no disrespect to any victims of sexual assault, this just means that unaffected parties should wait for a little more evidence before they rush to their opinions. Pro-Kane (at this point in time) does not mean that you are pro-rape.
Let the grand jury, the district attorney, Kane and his attorney, and the victim and her attorney work this out among themselves. Let the judicial system do its job. If Kane is charged, if he is suspended, or if he is one day found guilty, then let’s have the “did he do it?” debate.
Meanwhile, while everyone waits patiently, don’t throw Patrick Kane under the bus. Not yet.
Patrick Kane supporters, those who wait to cast judgement, those who don’t grab their pitchforks while scream “rapist”, those who support their home team when they have no factual reasons not to… I get you.
During intermission of the Chicago Blackhawks game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Chicago’s own, Chance The Rapper tested his hockey skills from center ice at the United Center. Unfortunately for Chance though, his accuracy could use some work, as he went 0 for 3. Luckily he put his eggs in the music basket and not in being the NHL’s next Patrick Kane.
Watch Chance The Hockey Player’s hockey skills below. And if you’re a Chance The Rapper fan in Madison, be sure to check out his headlining performance at the Revelry Music & Arts Festival.