EA Sports pulls Patrick Kane from NHL 16 video game cover amid police probe

ByDarren Rovell and Katie Strang via ESPN logo
Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Electronic Arts announced on Wednesday that Chicago Blackhawks right wingPatrick Kane would no longer appear on the cover of its upcoming NHL game.

"In light of the ongoing investigation involving Patrick Kane, he will no longer be a spokesperson for the launch of EA Sports NHL 16," the company released in a statement on Wednesday. "He will not appear on the EA Sports NHL 16 cover, nor participate in other ... promotional activities."

The cover, which was supposed to feature Kane and teammate Jonathan Toews, was announced in June, and the game was expected to hit stores on Sept. 15.

Electronic Arts tweeted out an image of the revised cover art featuring Toews on his own.

The game will not be delayed from its initially announced release date of Sept. 15, EA spokesman John Reseburg said. Reseburg said he wasn't in the position to comment if Wednesday's change had any financial ramifications.

EA has never pulled a cover athlete off a game before its release, though in 2003, it replaced Dany Heatley, months after his cover appeared on shelves with Joe Sakic, after a car crash that occurred when he was driving, killed teammate Dan Snyder.When news of Tiger Woods' infidelity was revealed in November 2009, he was dropped by most companies that counted him as an endorser, though EA stuck with him as the name being its golf franchise.

Police in Hamburg, New York, where Kane lives, confirmed last week they were investigating an alleged incident that occurred at Kane's home in the first weekend in August. The authorities did not discuss the nature of the investigation. Kane has not been charged.

According to Hamburg Police Chief Gregory Wickett, there has been no change in the status of the current investigation.

Asked if the police department and district attorney's office are still awaiting forensic test results, Wickett said: "As far as I know. "

Wickett said he had no timetable available for when he expects some sort of development or resolution to the investigation but told ESPN it could be as early as Thursday or could take two months.

In addition to his lucrative eight-year, $84 million contract, the 26-year-old inked last summer, the three-time Stanley Cup champion has several endorsement deals, including those with Bauer Hockey, McDonald's, Gatorade and Chevrolet.

"We are obviously aware of the current investigation announced by Hamburg Police on Friday," Steve Jones,senior director of corporate communications for Performance Sports Group, which owns Bauer, told ESPN.com. "We continue to closely monitor the situation."

McDonald's spokesman Heidi Barker said the company is "aware of the matter involving Patrick Kane," but that "it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."

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