Shortly after word broke the Kane would not be offering an out of court settlement in his sexual assault case, it appears a settlement may be coming.
A grand jury was called to hear the case, but as postponed abruptly before the hearing. A grand jury is used in many cases to determine if charges are brought. The prosecutor brings a jury to court and presents his case. The defense isn't allowed to testify or object. The jury decides if the prosecutor has enough evidence to indict the defendant on formal charges. Grand juries are not commonly called off last minute. The usual reasons for this to happen would be conflict of scheduling with witnesses or prosecutors, or a witness refusing to testify. Multiple news sources have cited sources who said the reason for the delay is ongoing settlement talks between the two sides.
What does that mean for Kane? If a settlement is reached Kane will be a few million dollars poorer, and will avoid being arrested. Settlements are often the best course of action in these cases, because trials are very public and can be very painful. The defense attorney will do everything in his power to discredit and smear the name of the victim. With Kane having a high profile lawyer, the chance of him going to court only to be acquitted is high. Not to mention Kane is held as a local hero in that area of the country. To receive a fair trial, it would likely need to be moved to a new part of the country.
What does that mean for Kane's NHL career? We won't know until it happens. At this point, there is no settlement and charges could roll forward at any time. Chances are if the talks were serious enough to halt charges, they are very serious. Without formal charges, the NHL would be in a very difficult situation when it comes to disciplining Kane. The NHL can suspend Kane and perform a formal review. The CBA doesn't state that charges need to be filed. The NHL must simply feel that failure to suspend the player and perform a formal review for discipline would damage the image of the NHL. I think everyone can agree in this case, Kane meets that standard. The question will be, does the NFL deflategate case make the NHL pause. While they are two COMPLETELY different charges, if the witness in the case refuses to talk, the level of evidence could be similar, none. Also without evidence, how serious of a punishment could the NHL bring down?
At this point, only time will tell as we move forward.