Blackhawks' Kane, authorities reportedly await rape kit test results

Police and Patrick Kane are reportedly awaiting the results of forensic testing in an investigation involving rape allegations.

- Police and Patrick Kane are reportedly awaiting the results of forensic testing in an investigation involving rape allegations.

Police in Hamburg, New York spoke for the first time on Friday. They confirmed Kane is being investigated for an incident that allegedly occurred last weekend at his home in Hamburg.

Beyond that, Chief Greg Wickett is releasing very little information.

Kane is not charged with anything right now, and police in Hamburg are under strict orders to not talk to reporters.

That said, the Buffalo News is citing sources who say Kane met a woman at bar in Buffalo and took her home last weekend. They report police searched Kane’s home on Sunday, and the paper claims the alleged victim went to a hospital where doctors performed a rape kit to collect evidence.

Sources say a prosecutor who specializes in sexual assault has been assigned to the case and that Kane has hired a defense attorney.
    
These serious allegations have Hawks fans in limbo.

While no one wants to rush to judgement, there are a lot of people wondering what they should do with their Kane jerseys.

Also, what does the franchise do now that Kane is at the center of a sexual assault investigation?

"They're angry just at the idea that one of their players, much less their star player, puts himself in a position where there's a reason to be investigated," said Sports Business Consultant Marc Ganis.

Ganis says the Blackhawks are laying low, gathering information and monitoring the investigation in Kane’s hometown.

But Ganis says no matter the outcome, don't expect the Blackhawks to sugarcoat the story or coddle their star player. 

"Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough don't operate that way. They are high character, high ethical people and expect the same from those in their organization," Ganis said.

At the Blackhawks store downtown, a rack of Kane jerseys is still getting prime placement overlooking North Michigan Avenue.

Like the team itself, fans are reserving judgement but disappointed Kane put himself in this position.

"First of all it's a shock. It's never good to hear, especially a city hero like Kane. I mean, we praise these guys almost like they're gods," a Chicagoan said.

"I don't know what he did. I don't know if he's innocent or guilty. I think he's an incredibly talented young man and it just breaks my heart," another Chicagoan added.

"I'm definitely withholding judgement until everything comes out. It's very early in the investigation...it's still an allegation right now," a third man said.

So, in a city where seemingly half the population owns an ‘88’ Blackhawks jersey, what impact will this have on the Patrick Kane brand?

"There's a problem just being investigated. Just having a formal investigation. But the damage to the brand and the magnitude will depend on what it is he's accused of, if he's accused of anything after the investigation is over, and how that plays itself out," Ganis said.

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