The Patrick Kane investigation takes another strange turn, plus updates on Rick Nash, Zdeno Chara, Kris Letang and more in your morning coffee headlines. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Erie County district attorney Frank Sedita III, who is leading the investigation into the sexual assault allegation against Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, provided evidence during a press conference yesterday disproving claims that rape kit evidence had been tampered with. Sedita claimed the mother of Kane’s accuser had orchestrated an elaborate hoax, resulting in her daughter’s attorney removing himself from the case.  “The question in my mind isn’t when this case goes to a grand jury … it’s if this case goes to a grand jury,” Sedita said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite this unusual turn of events, Sedita said the investigation will continue. We don’t know why the accuser’s mother did what she did, but it was reported earlier this week that sources claimed there was no DNA evidence that Kane had sexual intercourse with the accuser. Perhaps her actions were tied to this. While it remains to be seen how this plays out, it appears the chances of Kane being charged are less likely than they were several weeks ago. 

Rick Nash enters this season determined to lead the New York Rangers to a championship.

Rick Nash enters this season determined to lead the New York Rangers to a championship.

NEW YORK POST: Rick Nash enters this season more determined to help the Rangers win the Stanley Cup.

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Oft-injured Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is hoping for a long, productive career and to follow in the footsteps of teammate Sergei Gonchar.

NBC SPORTS: Columbus Blue Jackets winger Brandon Saad underwent four root canals earlier this week, but was back on the ice at practice Thursday and hopes to play in today’s preseason tilt against Pittsburgh.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I read a couple of comments from readers on that story suggesting root canals are “no big deal” these days. On the contrary, dental surgery is a big deal, especially something like multiple root canals. It’s quite painful after the numbing wears off and it can take several days, even a couple of weeks, before the pain finally subsides. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The goaltending duel between Cam Ward and Eddie Lack to determine the starter’s job with the Carolina Hurricanes has begun. Both are UFAs next summer but only one of them could be re-signed.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: The Minnesota Wild hope to give more playing time to backup Darcy Kuemper this season.

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: Winger Raffi Torres played his first game with the Sharks in 16 months. Torres was sidelined during that period by knee surgeries.

BUFFALO BUSINESS JOURNAL: The NHL is poised to top $4 billion in revenue this coming season and projects reaching $4.5 billion for 2017-18.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league has done a fine job tapping into new revenue sources while securing more lucrative deals on traditional streams like broadcasting. The fly in the ointment, however, is that nearly 40 percent of that revenue comes from Canadian teams, and with the Canadian dollar now worth .75 cents USD, that will slow the rise of the salary cap.