There have been plenty of bizarre twists and turns in the Patrick Kane investigation the past few days, but the Blackhawks right wing said his mind remains on hockey.
“Especially after the past couple of days, right now, I’m just trying to focus on the game tonight, coming out in practice today and trying to get better, focus on that. But I don’t really have anything to say about what transpired over the past, whatever it’s been, 72 hours,” said Kane, who will play Saturday night when the Blackhawks host the St. Louis Blues. “My focus is here on the game tonight and I guess I’ll also congratulate the Chicago Cubs on clinching a playoff spot.”
In early August a young woman accused Kane of raping her at his Hamburg, N.Y., home. Kane has not been charged with any crime. Since Wednesday there have been several press conferences on the investigation: the woman’s then-attorney claimed an evidence bag was tampered with and found at the accuser’s mother’s home on Wednesday, then withdrew from the case on Thursday when he wasn’t comfortable with the story of how that bag got to the mother’s house. On Friday, Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita said the bag was part of an “elaborate hoax.”
Kane’s attorney, Paul Cambria, maintained Kane’s innocence. Kane said the same in his opening statement last week at the University of Notre Dame. Asked on Saturday if he was still confident he would be exonerated, Kane said, “that’s all speculation and assumptions. Obviously, I believe what I said, and I think that’s been reiterated many times by not only myself, but my lawyer, as well. But what’s going to actually happen is just speculation, so I don’t know. I don’t know what comes next.”
As for support, Kane said he’s had plenty.
“The fans have been great. I obviously appreciate that. My family’s been awesome, my girlfriend’s been great,” he said. “I think everyone’s [been], especially the Blackhawks organization, as well. Everyone’s kind of stuck with me through the whole thing. It’s good to have that support. Support’s been huge throughout this past couple of months.”
- Corey Crawford is expected to play the whole game against the St. Louis Blues.
- Artemi Panarin (upper body) is expected to be back on the ice on Monday. Coach Joel Quenneville said he hopes the young forward plays in the team’s final two preseason games, but will have a better idea once Panarin skates.
- Michal Rozsival (ankle) has started to skate again. Quenneville said the defenseman has been rehabbing that injury “to a different level where it wouldn’t be an issue before he starts skating hard.” Quenneville said Rozsival is questionable to doubtful to play in the regular-season opener.