What happens if the charges filed against Blackhawks all-star winger Patrick Kane by Buffalo police on Sunday prove to be true?
That's a question Hawks president John McDonough and general manager Stan Bowman had to be kicking around late into the night Sunday following Kane's arrest earlier in the day in his native Buffalo for allegedly assaulting and robbing a 62-year-old cab driver.
That's right, the cab driver is 62. Kane is 20 and his cousin, who also was charged, is 21.
In a statement issued Sunday (and it's official, the Hawks now lead all of pro sports in statements), a team spokesman said the club was standing by Kane while all the facts are gathered.
If those facts come back and prove Kane guilty of what the Buffalo police allege he did, the Hawks have a huge mess on their hands.
It could lead Kane out of town.
Even before the events of Sunday, there were those with connections to the Hawks who have wondered if Kane was worth keeping considering the money he is likely to command when his contract runs out after this season.
The Hawks must sign Kane, captain Jonathan Toews and star defenseman Duncan Keith next summer. Toews isn't going anywhere, period. And Keith might be the team's most valuable player. You would think Kane is a keeper as well, but maybe things change now.
Kane's work ethic has been questioned as well as his commitment to playing defense, which is a must in coach Joel Quenneville's system.
Of course, we're getting ahead of ourselves here. Let's see how the facts of Sunday's arrest shake out.
What we do know is Kane was arrested with his 21-year-old cousin at 5 in the morning on Chippewa Street in Buffalo, an area known for its nightlife. There was no mention of alcohol in the police report, a key since Kane is not of legal age to drink.
The Kanes allegedly punched the cab driver and took back the $15 they had given him after he told them he didn't have 20 cents in coins to give them change from a fare of $13.80.
The cabbie told police he was punched in the face and head, grabbed by the throat and had his glasses broken during the incident.
This is the kind of publicity the Hawks didn't need during a summer already filled with so negativity for the club. But the worst might still be ahead if the charges against Kane are shown to be true.