Kane, Madden photographed shirtless

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- As the Chicago Blackhawks make on-ice preparations for their showdown with the San Jose Sharks on Thursday, the blogosphere is buzzing with pictures of three players -- Patrick Kane, Kris Versteeg, and John Madden -- shirtless in a limousine with two unnamed women. There is no confirmed word on who took the photos or when they were taken.

The only newsworthy question worth asking is, were these photos taken anywhere in the hours or night before a game? If that’s the case, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville might have a problem with it. Otherwise, as far as we know, the players did not get in any trouble or break any laws. The Hawks did have the day off on Sunday in Vancouver before practicing Monday and then flying to Edmonton. The team arrived in Vancouver late last Thursday night after their game with Calgary. They lost to the Vancouver Canucks 5-1 on Saturday.

No one is na├»ve to think this doesn’t happen in athletes’ personal lives, but rest assured that Hawks brass probably does not like the image it portrays. The Hawks say they are aware of the photos and will handle it internally. The players have made no public comments on the matter.

The Hawks take on the Western Conference leading San Jose Sharks Thursday night in San Jose.