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updated: 5/14/2012 9:26 PM

Only Kane can figure all this out

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  • Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane, seen here during a game in 2010, is facing some bad press after an incident in Madison. This is the third or fourth time Kane's alcohol-fueled activity has been caught on camera.

      Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane, seen here during a game in 2010, is facing some bad press after an incident in Madison. This is the third or fourth time Kane's alcohol-fueled activity has been caught on camera.
    Associated Press


Still nothing from the Blackhawks or Patrick Kane concerning any concern over his recent demon-drink holiday in Madison.

Just as well.

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What can be said about reports of drunkenness, boorishness, choking a woman, anti-Semitic remarks and other anti-social behavior?

Kane can't mutter that he'll never do it again because he has said that before. The Hawks can't utter that they're done with him because that would diminish his trade value.

So, no, nothing of substance can be said. Not by the rest of us, either, because Kane's history indicates he isn't listening anyway.

This is the third or fourth time Kane has embarrassed the Hawks with alcohol-fueled activity caught on camera. This franchise doesn't need that while trying to expand its base by attracting casual fans.

The fear isn't so much about what Kane has done as what he has the potential to do. Flirt with trouble often enough and trouble eventually will bite you in the behind.

Outsiders' best defense for Kane is that he is 23 years old. However, myriad 23-year-olds are behaving responsibly, bravely and honorably in Afghanistan.

Here's the deal with wayward 23-year-olds: They're going to straighten out at their own pace. At best it'll be sooner. At worst they'll die trying or not trying.

You, I and millions of other pretend life counselors can chant to Kane what's right and what's wrong and he'll still have to take the pieces and figure out the puzzle for himself.

Hopefully when Kane gets it he'll still have a hockey career, all his limbs and some breath to breathe.

Personal note: Long ago I knew three guys who were about Kane's age -- one was as close to me as possible -- when they drove a VW Beetle to Florida for spring break. They did what young people do on trips like that, mostly nothing to be proud of.

One turned out to be like what I am today. Another turned out to be a successful businessman in California. The other died in his 50s of alcoholism.

If you were there, you couldn't have predicted who would become what.

Some of us are so ignorant at that age that nobody can tell us what to do even if we don't have Kane's money, looks and fame.

Kane can be scolded to grow up. He can be reprimanded. He can be sent to his room, to alcohol rehab, to anger management and to sensitivity training.

Nothing will come of it until he feels compelled to emerge a better person, regardless of the athlete inside that person.

Kane needs an epiphany, maybe a trade to Winnipeg, an arrest on serious charges or God forbid something even more dramatic.

Who knows, maybe it'll never happen?

There's no telling when or whether. It's up to Kane himself and to whatever impulses prompt him to do what he does.

No one can measure how close Kane is to that life-altering moment that will enable him to live long and the Hawks to live long with him.

It doesn't depend on what clues we offer him or threats the Hawks hurl at him.

It depends on when Kane wants to listen to the voices of wisdom that reside deep inside all of us at any age.

In the meantime the only thing to say, as the lyric does, is that Patrick Kane will continue skating on the thin ice of a new day.

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