Treading Fantasy Wise On Patrick Kane

This is going to be one of the toughest questions to ascertain as the season approaches. What will become of Patrick Kane? As everyone knows, rape cases can take a long time to come to a verdict. It is feasible that the Chicago Blackhawks forward could play the entire season before even being charged. That sounds crazy but the possibility exists.

There are lots of variables to consider and then a few twists on top of it. Our goal is to try to project the almost impossible because here at Today’s Slapshot, that is just how we do things. Let’s take a closer look assuming all systems are go.

Patrick Kane: If There’s A Quick Resolution

It is unlikely but still possible that Kane could have the charges dropped before the season starts. If it turns out that he is indeed exonerated, this may create a highly focused winger hellbent on scoring a ton. Remember his career high is only 88 points but he has averaged just about a point a game career wise.

Chicago is also a possession metrics dream and Kane career wise has been right around 55% as far as Corsi and Fenwick. Relative to the team that is pretty much average but still a top three number among teams in the league. The Blackhawks just create a high number of scoring chances and Kane’s speed and playmaking ability when motivated is undoubtedly at an elite level.

When you get down to it, Kane’s Hero Chart is something to see.

Kane's initial numbers are off the charts great but note the surprise grouping of metrics at the bottom.

Kane’s initial numbers are off the charts great but note the surprise grouping of metrics at the bottom.

When it comes to production and especially needing a goal, there are few players more valuable than Kane. The numbers bear that out. His offensive role and top 10 offensive numbers along with nearly 20:00 of average time on ice make him a great choice at even strength. However, please note the metrics at the bottom. Asking Kane to have an impact on his linemates is a different story. That is not a misprint! Kane has bottom six numbers when it comes to Corsi For percentage. Basically that has kind of been the way throughout his career but to some it comes as a considerable shock.

These types of numbers could mean a potential 90 plus point season if Kane were to stay healthy. “Showtime” will definitely be at the “Madhouse On Madison” if all goes well. His career high is 1.17 points per game in a year by the way. A motivated player that will try to rededicate himself toward being much more disciplined is bad news for opponents. This would be the best case scenario.

What Would The Worst Case Be?

The just as unlikely possibility would be a quick escalation of the investigation that resulted in charges being issued well before the regular season starts. Say if Kane is charged with rape and lesser counts in September, that would back the NHL and the Blackhawks into a corner. They would have to take action and a suspension until the case is resolved. It could be a slight possibility that the case could drag throughout most if not all of the season and cause the forward to lose a ton of time.

Fantasy owners in keeper leagues literally are feeling the pinch already. A drawn out suspension is the sum of all fears. Now a conviction is game over and that may even be for lesser charges because of New York law. Please understand that first degree rape can carry a 35 year sentence and even lesser sex charges can result in registering as a sex offender for as long as 20 years. Then there are the VISA issues, etc. Ouch!

What Would Be More Likely?

We are all going to have to sit and wait. This Sports Illustrated article comes highly recommended and is a must read even for fantasy hockey fans.

As Michael McCann so eloquently put, there is a ton of moving parts here. Lots of investigative work has to be put in before we get to a stage where charges are pressed or not. Now the league has final say on what the Blackhawks can ultimately do or not do. Then there could be a possible challenge by the NHLPA but we are getting way ahead of ourselves here.

This could go as far, if he is charged, where his previous record in New York could come back to haunt him. The longer this stretches out, the more likely Kane is suspended in some way, shape, or form. It might be a case where one way or the other, the winger will take a huge hit reputation wise at the very least.

Fantasy hockey wise, we have to keep a keen eye on the so far slow but prudent moving case. It is more probable than not that some of Kane’s season will be impacted. No one really knows precisely when though there are clues. Since nothing is concrete, it cannot be reported just yet.

How To Approach All Of This?

Simply you have to go on the working belief that everything is a go until otherwise stated. If Kane plays a full season…an 80-90 point year is quite possible. If there is any kind of suspension then you have to lower expectations in a dramatic manner. Many leagues are going to wait a bit anyway since some services are up and running already. However, if you have Kane as a keeper, again just wait and see because that is all you can do. Don’t panic! It is not worth it.

In one year leagues, the winger’s draft position may go down a round or two depending on what transpires next. After that, we enter into that unknown territory. No easy answers exist here. Experts are waiting just like the fans. This will be an ongoing story so hang tight. Proceed as normally stated but with caution. Good luck!

Just as an update….it is looking increasingly likely that there will be some sort of clarification with the investigation in September. Stay tuned!