Credit the London Knights for being aware it would be bad form to have one of their training camp squads bearing Patrick Kane's name while their notable alumnus is under criminal investigation.
It is better to be proactive than reactive. The Knights have a custom of dividing players up into teams named after their former stars who are now prominent National Hockey League players. While Kane is high up on that list after winning his third Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in June, he is also part of an active police investigation into rape allegations. The Knights are simply getting out in front of a potential problem by razing Kane from their camp. It's a pretty easy call.
From Ryan Pyette (@RyanatLFPress):
The London Knights, who hit the ice next Tuesday [Sept. 1] at Budweiser Gardens, had planned to divide their 80 players into four squads named for Corey Perry (white), Rick Nash (black), David Bolland (green) and Kane (gold). But with the 26-year-old NHLer the subject of an on-going police investigation for an incident that occurred at his home in Hamburg, N.Y. this summer, the gold-wearing skaters will instead carry the banner of another former Knights great.
"We're going to change the name and there will not be a Team Kane at training camp," London GM Basil McRae said.
Kane has not been charged with a crime. According to the Buffalo News, he has met with investigators as part of the rape allegations against him. ( London Free Press, Aug. 25)
Side point: should Team Perry get the gold sweaters, in recognition of whose team won at at the 2010 and '14 Olympics? Neither here nor there.
The hockey world can be a little insular by times, but in this case the Knights got it. It would have been massively insensitive, even if the camp scrimmages are just for a few days, to be paying homage to the Kane name while he's facing serious allegations. Not so long ago, a junior hockey team would have carried on like that was none of their business. In this case, the Knights realized it would send a bad message to people who like their product, but also would prefer to eradicate rape culture. Nothing wrong with shaming Kane a little.
Kane played for the Knights in 2006-07 after finishing his two seasons with the U.S. national development team.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @naitSAYger.