Patrick Kane will be noticeably absent from this year's NHL preseason media tour.
Prior to the start of training camp each year, several star players from around the league gather for two days of interviews, commercial shoots, and promotional advertisements, serving as an unofficial kicking off to a new season.
Both the league and team have remained silent during an ongoing sexual assault investigation revolving around Kane after an alleged incident at his home near Buffalo, N.Y., in August. As Graham reports, a pair of Blackhawks are attending the event, removing the need for Kane's inclusion.
An NHL spokesman declined to comment Monday but said the league didn't have to make a decision on Kane because he wouldn't necessarily have been invited, anyway.
The NHL spokesman said that more than two players per team rarely get invited to the media tour and superstars don't always participate. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and postseason MVP Duncan Keith will represent them this year.
Kane would seem an appropriate exception to the two-per-team rule. He has been invited to the media tour multiple times in the past, and, as one of America's elite players, U.S. television rights-holder NBC Sports normally would consider his involvement appealing.
Kane's case is believed to be headed to a grand jury, who will vote on whether there's enough to support a criminal charge.