Patrick Kane is still expected to attend a U.S. Olympic men's hockey orientation camp in suburban Chicago next week, despite a scheduled court hearing on Monday in Buffalo following his arrest on Sunday.
Kane, of the Chicago Blackhawks, faces felony robbery and misdemeanour counts of theft and criminal mischief after being accused of teaming with his cousin to beat up a Buffalo, N.Y., cabbie over pocket change before daybreak Sunday. His cousin, James Kane, faces the same charges.
USA Hockey spokesman Dave Fischer said Monday that Kane is still expected to participate in the three-day camp, which begins Monday.
"We are aware of the incident. We don't condone or approve of what has been suggested the facts are. We are looking into it ourselves," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Monday.
Andrew LoTempio, a lawyer for the cab driver, told WGN radio in Chicago on Monday that he thinks Sunday's incident was blown out of proportion.
"There was a dispute over the fee and it just kind of escalated from there," LoTempio told the station. "It was not really a robbery. That is probably a large distortion of what happened."
Asked if the case would end up as a felony, he said: "Absolutely not."
"I think we should be able to work things out," he added.
Police say the cab driver was beaten because he did not have 20 cents in change to give Kane, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft and the NHL rookie of the year the following year. The 62-year-old cab driver, identified as Jan Radecki, said he was punched, grabbed by the throat and had his glasses broken.
His lawyer said it is customary for some Buffalo cab drivers to lock the doors of their vehicles with the passengers inside - if they think they might be stiffed on their fare.
Kane had 25 goals and 45 assists last season and had a hat trick in the victory that clinched the second-round playoff series against Vancouver. As a rookie, he had 21 goals and 51 assists.
With files from The Canadian Press