Patrick Kane on US women’s hockey dispute: ‘It’s tough for all parties’ – Chicago Tribune
As one of the faces of Team USA, Patrick Kane has kept tabs on the rift between the U.S. women’s national team and USA Hockey that threatens the Americans’ participation in the upcoming women’s world championships.
Team USA said last week it would boycott the tournament, beginning March 31 in Plymouth, Mich., if it does not receive what it considers equitable support from USA Hockey. The sides have exchanged barbs via statements to the media the last few days, and no resolution appears close.
“It’s tough for all parties involved,” Kane said before the Hawks defeated the the Maple Leafs 2-1 in overtime Saturday at the Air Canada Centre. “I’m sure it’s tough for those women to be doing that in the first place. I’m sure they love playing, especially when the world championships are going to be on home soil this year and they have to give that up because of some rights they believe in.
“At the same time, I’ve played for USA Hockey for a long time, and you feel bad for them from their perspective too,” Kane added. “You kind of understand both sides, and hopefully there’s a resolution quick.”
First strike: John Hayden on Saturday became the seventh Hawks rookie to score his first career goal this season, joining Gustav Forsling, Ryan Hartman, Vinnie Hinostroza, Michal Kempny, Tyler Motte and Nick Schmaltz.
“It was awesome,” said Hayden, who took a feed from Jonathan Toews, kicked the puck to his stick and fired it past goaltender Frederik Andersen. “It was pretty surreal, especially in this building with this environment.
“Tazer was telling me to shoot the puck before the game. He made a great play and it felt pretty good.”
Plugging along: Former Hawks forward Ben Smith, in his second stint with the Leafs, was a healthy scratch Saturday. After being a regular with the Hawks, Smith has been trying to find his footing since they traded him to the Sharks during the 2014-15 season.
“Every year is an adventure, and since I got traded from Chicago it’s been a bit of a battle trying to find a home,” said Smith, 28, who has his name on the Stanley Cup after appearing in a finals game for the ’13 Hawks. “I’ve been here now for a year and trying to … show that I can play. The league is getting younger and younger, and as I get older it’s tougher to do that.”
Back in: With Marian Hossa out with a lower-body injury, Tomas Jurco drew back into the lineup after being a healthy scratch the previous three games.
“We want him to be comfortable out there with the puck and get a little bit more comfortable with how we play,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We look forward to getting him in a spot where he can get some ice time and he can make a contribution.”