August 9 2015

Ian Gooding


The Patrick Kane situation and how it could relate to Slava Voynov, Jakob Silfverberg signing, and Auston Matthews in Switzerland

This could potentially turn out to be hockey’s biggest story of the summer. As you probably know by now, Hamburg, NY, police have now confirmed that Patrick Kane is the subject of an investigation, while the Buffalo News has reported that the subject of the investigation is an alleged sexual assault.

I know I’m about to bring up a controversial subject, just as I had during a previous Ramblings where the player being discussed was Mike Ribeiro. But again, by bringing up the subject and stating how horrible such a crime is, I’ll make this clear: I’m not accusing the player of committing the crime. We know relatively little about this story now, and we will no doubt learn more over the coming days.

So should Kane owners in keeper leagues be worried about this? I’d say yes, at least a little. The worst-case scenario for Kane would be for his situation to play out similarly to what happened to Slava Voynov. If Kane is charged with the crime, he could potentially be suspended indefinitely by the league while this incident is in the system’s hands.

The NHL’s decision on Voynov – closely following a time when the NFL was mishandling the Ray Rice incident – set a precedent for future domestic violence cases. The NHL failed to set a precedent when Semyon Varlamov was accused of a similar incident. But that might not bode so well for Kane.

Voynov happened to be on one of my fantasy teams. It was an inconvenience to my team to lose him, yet the bigger picture had to prevail here. That situation got me thinking: When do the success of your fantasy team and the actions of your players away from the sport cross over? In other words, have you ever turned a player down for your fantasy team because of you were disgusted about the way they conducted themselves on their own time?

If the player was a high risk to be suspended by the league or terminated by a team, you’d probably take that into account, simply because you wouldn’t want a suspended player taking up a roster spot. However, how do you feel about adding players such as Michael Vick or Ray Rice to your team after they have supposedly served their time? (Time of course could refer to either jail time or suspension.) Do you attempt to win with what you