Dallas Stars agitator Adam Burish was very close with Hawks winger Patrick Kane when he played in Chicago. The two hung out at home and on the road, and they sill exchange texts and talk often.
So it shouldn't be a surprise that Burish, a fan favorite and media go-to guy when he was with the Hawks, will defend his former teammate.
Burish was cornered by reporters Thursday in Detroit before the Stars met the Red Wings and asked about last week's Deadspin.com story that suggested Kane missed practice with a hangover and the photographs that accompanied it.
Burish told reporters:
"Listen, he's a superstar. People want to find him out. They want to see him. He's a good kid. He comes to work every day. He's the best player every day on the ice.
"So, he wants to go out and have dinner, have a beer, go hang out with some teammates on an off night, that's no different than any other job. If he shows up to work every day and plays the right way, who's to say what he can do at night or not?
"He's a professional. He's a young kid, but he's a professional. He understands the situations and he understands that he's a superstar and everybody's watching him, and he deals with it pretty darn good. He deals with it better than most people do. To me, he's not doing anything wrong. He's not doing anything that anybody should shake their head at."
Burish said Kane has to live "under a microscope" unlike other players. Kane missed two practices with the flu and needed multiple IV bags in order to play Feb. 16 against the Wild.
Burish continued with reporters:
"He's out having a beer somewhere -- it's news. People in Chicago are taking pictures of it and looking at it. It could be the middle of summer time and they could take pictures and say, 'What's he doing out?' Well, what do you mean 'What's he doing out?' He just finished an 82-game season and just won a Stanley Cup. If he wants to party a little bit, big deal. He's not doing anything wrong.
"It's just that he's under the microscope. So then people want to take a picture and make a story about it. It's not fair, but you know what? He understands it. He's not complaining about it. He almost doesn't worry about it. He goes about his business and for that position, he's pretty respectful of people that are around him, and at times, he's been told, 'Don't even take pictures with people, because you never know what it's going to be like.'
"He's not that kind of guy, though. He doesn't want to say no to somebody if he's out having dinner. 'Sorry, I can't take a picture with you.' But that's what some people told him, even that isn't good. Well, if he does that, then he's a jerk. He's a jerk not taking a picture. So for him, it's tough. It's a no-win. But he's as good of a kid as I've been around. I always loved being around him. I think he handles himself pretty darn good for being a 22-year old superstar.
"He's going to have fun, like anybody else does. He's not out like Dennis Rodman or like some of these guys. He's doing it like he should be, at the right times, and there's nothing wrong with what he's doing."