SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Patrick Kane looked down at the piece of paper and uttered the measured words, the first he’d said publicly since he went under investigation for an alleged rape more than a month earlier.
“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 are brought to light, I will be absolved (of any wrongdoing)."
While the investigation continues back in Kane’s hometown of Buffalo, N.Y., the right wing will participate in training camp this weekend at Notre Dame, Blackhawks president John McDonough said on Thursday.
Past his statement, Kane didn’t say much. He and other Blackhawks who spoke on Thursday said they were going to respect the legal process and not address questions regarding the investigation or the ramifications it could have on Kane and the team.
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As far as Kane being here, McDonough addressed that in his own statement:
“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 that 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.”
Still, there’s undoubtedly going to be a shadow cast over this camp for as long as the investigation continues. Asked if he thought about not reporting to camp, out of respect to the ongoing legal process, Kane said, “with my respect, the Blackhawks’ respect and what’s going on, I can’t comment on that.”
Any questions Kane did answer were solely related to the upcoming season. He said he’s been working out back in his Buffalo-area home and is physically ready to start the season.
“Through the summer I did what I normally do: work out in my basement and followed the Blackhawks’ program,” Kane said. “I feel like I’m in really good shape heading into camp.”
The Blackhawks already had plenty of questions entering this camp, mainly which players will fill the roles left vacant from trades this past summer. They still have to deal with questions regarding Kane’s investigation, even if they’re not asked in a public forum.
“I will say this hasn’t been an easy situation for any of us to deal with. It’s been a challenging summer. This is weighed on all of us,” McDonough said. “We’re doing the best we can within the framework of what we can talk about today. I know people in this room understand that, that there’s an ongoing legal investigation. And out of respect to that, I will give you that.”