Patrick Kane signs in Switzerland

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Patrick Kane signs in Switzerland

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane postponed original plans to play in Europe when former teammate Adam Burish helped organize the Champs for Charity game.

But after playing in Friday's game, Kane will be heading across the pond.

Kane has signed with EHC Biel, a National League A squad in Switzerland. Kane tweeted the news on Tuesday afternoon ("Excited and thankful to join EHC Biel in the Swiss league. Looking forward to the experience"). His agent, Pat Brisson, confirmed that Kane will play in Friday's Champs for Charity game with current and former Blackhawks, then depart for Switzerland.

Kane said he was close to signing with a European squad early last week. But NHL and NHLPA negotations were looking promising about a week ago; that, and Burish coming up with this game, were enough to keep Kane's plans on hold.

"Yeah, I would say I was close, maybe a week or two to going over," Kane said last Wednesday at the Champs for Charity press conference. "I'm just waiting for the right situation and things like that. You hear about this game and you hear (how) negotiations are going, you don't want to make any rush to go over there and come back after a couple of weeks. We'll see what happens."

But negotiations have taken a nosedive since then, with no talks currently scheduled between the two sides. So Kane will head to EHC Biel, where he will play for as long as the lockout goes. Boston's Tyler Seguin is also signed with EHC Biel.

Bears numbers don't indicate 3-13, yet still lie

Bears numbers don't indicate 3-13, yet still lie

In doing some post-season wrapping up of my Nerdy NFL Notebook as we begin turning the page to the 2017 season, part of it involves compiling where each team finished in big-picture team offensive and defensive categories: overall ranking (total yards), as well as team rushing and passing ranks on both sides of the ball.

So if the Bears wound up ranked 15th overall in total yards gained and allowed, they should've finished…oh, 8-8, right? It adds to the deception of some of the deeper issues that focus on a lack of playmakers, which tied into their inability to make plays when it matters most. In John Fox's 9-23 start, 18 of those games have been decided by six points or less. They've won just six of those games. 

Offensively, the Bears ranked higher in total offense than five playoff teams: Kansas City (20), Detroit (21), Miami (24), New York Giants (25) and Houston (29). They wound up 17th in rushing offense, better than four teams who advanced: Seattle (25), Green Bay (26), New York Giants (29) and Detroit (30). And their 14th-ranked passing offense ranked better than the Giants (17), Kansas City (19), Dallas (23), Miami (26), Houston (29).

On the other side of the ball, they'd be even better off before allowing 109 points over the final three losses. Their total defense ranked better than Detroit (18), Green Bay (22), Kansas City (24), Atlanta (25), Oakland (26) and Miami (29). After being gashed for 558 rushing yards the last three games, they fell to 27th in the NFL against the run (better than only 30th-ranked Miami). But the seventh-ranked pass defense, despite collecting a measly eight interceptions (among only 11 turnovers), was better than nine playoff teams: Miami (15), Pittsburgh (16), Kansas City (18), Detroit (19), the Giants (23), Oakland (24), Dallas (26), Atlanta (28) and Green Bay (31).

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

What do all the hollow numbers indicate? A lack of complementary, opportunistic football, playmakers on both sides of the ball, a minus-20 turnover ratio, and a lack of quality and continuity at the quarterback position — to name a few. All of those playoff teams have more impact players (or kept more of their impact players healthy) than the Bears in 2016.

While some of the numbers aren't that bad to look at, and some even raise an eyebrow, there's still a deep climb from the most significant numbers: 3-13.

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Fremd's Grace Tworek

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Fremd's Grace Tworek

This week's Wintrust Athlete of the Week is Fremd senior Grace Tworek. 

Tworek has led the Vikings on and off the court this season. Last week, the Harvard commit put up a career-high 29 points in a win over Wheeling. 

Learn more about Tworek's success in the video above.