Blackhawks star forward Patrick Kane reported to camp Thursday at the University of Notre Dame, as most expected. What has been unexpected is the current situation Kane finds himself in surrounding his allegations of rape seven weeks ago in Buffalo. Kane spoke to the media for the first time since the alleged incident, speaking from a prepared statement:
“This has been an incredibly difficult time for many people. I cannot apologize enough for the distraction this has caused my family, my teammates, this incredible organization, and of course our fans. While I have too much respect for the legal process to comment on an ongoing matter, I am confident that once all the facts have come to light, I will be absolved of having done anything wrong.”
Kane declined to answer any questions regarding the accusations, and would only field questions related to being at camp and getting ready for the hockey season. Kane said he “appreciated questions” regarding his drinking and how Hawks fans might respond to his situation, but declined to answer due to the ongoing investigation.
Blackhawks President John McDonough read off a statement as well saying, “The Chicago Blackhawks organization prides itself in trying to make calculated and deliberate decisions based on information we have at the present time. We recognize Patrick Kane is dealing with a very serious situation. Based on our discussions with his legal representatives, who are very close to this matter, we have decided to have Patrick join us for training camp here at the University of Notre Dame. Furthermore, we have the utmost respect for the legal process and will have no further comment on this issue at this time.”
Hockey experts nationwide were skeptical of the Blackhawks intentions to even have this press conference. It seemed forced, awkward, and pointless when Kane wouldn’t expound upon certain questions. What made it even more awkward was the Blackhawks having a normal press conference about the 2015-16 season immediately following Kane’s comments about his criminal allegations. That is the part where the Hawks really blew it today. It was a cringe-worthy presser to say the least. Kane looked like he hasn’t slept in weeks. I asked earlier on twitter, did he look like an innocent man? That is a subjective question up entirely for debate.
With the awkwardly orchestrated press conference over, Kane and the Blackhawks now look to the days ahead at camp as they get ready to defend their Stanley cup title. Whether Patrick Kane will be there to help defend that title is still very much up in the air.