Patrick Kane may no longer be under criminal investigation, but the Chicago Blackhawks are still "quite angry" with the superstar forward and will "reassess the situation -- and his standing with the team -- after the season," according to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Erie County District Attorney's Office decided that Kane would not face charges after a criminal investigation for allegations of rape. A woman told police that Kane raped her at his offseason home in New York, but a chaotic series of events in the case ended Thursday with district attorney Frank A. Sedita III announcing the decision not to file charges.
The situation has been a devastating one for numerous parties, and apparently the Blackhawks are still re-considering whether to stick with Kane through the remainder of the eight-year, $84 million contract he was given in 2014. A source told Lazerus after reports emerged that charges wouldn't be filed that, "Even the best-case [scenario] here is pretty bad."
That could potentially open the door for the Blackhawks to consider trading Kane, especially after at least five teams showed interest in the forward once the news of the allegations first came up. The team reportedly hasn't shopped him at all, but "the option remains on the table -- especially now that Kane has been cleared of charges -- if they believe the risk of keeping Kane is higher than the reward."
Lazerus says a trade "almost certainly won’t happen during the season" and likely won't happen at all. Kane remains one of the best players in the NHL and an important part of everything Chicago does on the ice. He also wields a no-movement clause that could complicate matters. However, after all of Kane's off-ice issues and the Hawks' constant battle with the salary cap, moving the high-scoring winger and his $10.5 million cap hit for a massive haul is a possibility.
Nobody seems to be talking about the situation right now other than very basic statements, but it's clear that not all is well with the relationship between the Blackhawks and Kane, even with the questionable press conferences and bobblehead nights. The same can obviously be said for the 26-year-old and some fans. We'll see if this ends up impacting the future for Kane in Chicago.