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The Kane conundrum: Hawks' dilemma remains uncertain as camp nears

If you read my Inside the NHL column in Sunday's editions, you know the Chicago Blackhawks have major hockey-related issues to deal with when it comes to Patrick Kane and his sexual assault investigation. Training camp starts Friday at Notre Dame and the view from this corner in that column is that Kane can't be there. But as of Wednesday morning, the Hawks have remained completely mum on Kane.

The media world, of course, is far from silent. It's pretty much the No. 1 buzz topic in hockey right now. Kane's supporters are ferocious towards anyone who writes about this topic, as my email from out-of-towners in the wake of Sunday's column attests.

So you wonder what the inbox of Chicago Tribune writer Steve Rosenbloom looks like after this piece entitled, "Patrick Kane supporters, I don't get you."

What's his point? Pretty easy to sum it up with this excerpt:

"Why aren’t you mad at Kane?

"Kane’s very serious situation puts his team’s pursuit of a second straight Stanley Cup and fourth in seven years in serious doubt, which puts your greatest joy as a fan in serious trouble.

Some other reads the last couple days on Kane from around hockey's Fifth Estate:

* In the Chicago Sun-Times, good friend of this blog Mark Lazerus points out that Kane is the No. 1 question for the Hawks at a camp full of them. Of course, most were prompted by the dismantling of a Cup-winning team -- necessitated by the eight-year, $84-million deals signed by Kane and Jonathan Toews last summer.

* USA Today columnist Nancy Armour -- a longtime former Chicago Associated Press staffer -- also weighed in on Tuesday with the view that Kane needs to sit out camp. Wrote Armour: "The questions — and embarrassment — will be limited to a day, max, if Kane isn't around. Show up, and it's a three-ring circus until the case is resolved. ... Say what you will about Kane, but he's always been a team player. The Blackhawks need him to be one now more than ever."

In the New York Times, columnist Michael Powell reviews many of the public debauchery moments off the ice during Kane's time with the Blackhawks. Taking the bigger picture, Powell wisely wonders this:  "Left unanswered is why someone — a team, a teammate or the league — did not step in earlier, and tell Kane that he is no longer a man-child, but a 26-year-old man in danger of careening into a world of hurt, for himself or for others."

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