- Jesse Rogers, Chicago Cubs beat reporter
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CHICAGO – Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane's decision to bolt for Europe isn’t any more of an indication that talks between the league and the players association aren’t going well. That notion doesn’t need more evidence. It just means he’s restless and wants to play hockey.
Though a new CBA doesn’t seem to be nearing completion, that could change at any time and Kane would be back. Expect more of his teammates to join him overseas as the calendar moves towards November.
The good news is that Kane held off joining EHC Biel in the Swiss league until after the “Champs for Charity” game is played on Friday at the AllState Arena.
"Everyone is very appreciative that Patrick held off going to Europe until after the game,” NHL agent and game organizer Bill Zito said. “That was a class act and I know the Ronald McDonald House will benefit because of it.”
Kane will join many of the Blackhawks who won a Stanley Cup in 2010, and other NHL players, for what’s shaping up to be a memorable night -- all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Chicago. Adam Burish, Andrew Ladd, Troy Brouwer, Kris Versteeg and Brian Campbell will skate with their former teammates while other former Hawks like James Wisniewski, Jim Vandermeer, Jake Dowell and Craig Anderson will also participate.
Facing the Hawks will be a team consisting of Bobby Ryan of the Anaheim Ducks, Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild, Ville Leino of the Buffalo Sabres, Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals, Kimmo Timonen of the Philadelphia Flyers and Joe Corvo of the Carolina Hurricanes, to name a few. The final rosters will be set in the coming days.
It may not be the hockey everyone was hoping for at this time of year but an early reunion of many of the 2010 Blackhawks can’t be a bad thing for a fan base starving for the NHL to return. The only question is: How competitive will the game be?
“That’s the goal,” Patrick Sharp said recently. “We’ve been working out with each other for a long time now. It will be fun to play a real game.”
It might be the only chance for Chicagoans to see their favorite players for a while as Kane and others are bound for Europe. At least some good will come of the lockout. The Ronald McDonald House of Chicagoland is hoping to raise $250,000 through sponsors and ticket sales. It might turn out to be the only positive of a situation that’s been bleak since summer.
Tickets are available through Ticketmaster. Game time is 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
Patrick Kane will play in the Champs for Charity game before heading overseas.