Blackhawks: Patrick Kane ready to return to normalcy


Blackhawks: Patrick Kane ready to return to normalcy

NEWARK, N.J. – On Thursday the official announcement came, the Erie County District Attorney stating that Patrick Kane would not face criminal charges after a three-month-long rape investigation.

On Friday there was relief, in a way, for the Blackhawks right wing.

“I think I’m more happy for my family and supporters than anyone,” Kane said.

Frank Sedita III released a statement on the Erie County D.A.’s website on Thursday, stating that, “the totality of credible evidence – the proof – does not sufficiently substantiate the complainant’s allegation that she was raped by Patrick Kane.” Kane said repeatedly throughout the investigation that he had done nothing wrong, and that was repeated in his statement on Thursday.

[MORE HAWKS: Patrick Kane won't face charges as rape investigation comes to a close]

On Friday morning, Kane didn’t want to talk about how difficult the last few months have been. He did talk, however, about trying to return to some semblance of normalcy.

“Yeah, that’s the goal, right? That’s the main thing,” Kane said. “But, you know, as far as everything goes, I’m happy I’m playing hockey, I’m happy to be here tonight. It’ll be fun to see some of the Blackhawks fans in the crowd and obviously play another game tonight. Try to do it as normal as possible.”

The NHL is having its own review of the matter, according to a statement released by deputy commissioner Bill Daly on Thursday. Asked if he’s had discussions with the league since that review began, or if he will going forward, Kane said, “I don’t know if that’s right for me to comment on that. So we’ll see.”

Kane’s teammates said Kane, in the room and on the ice, kept the focus on hockey.

“We’re just happy for him that it’s official now, that weight he’s probably been carrying around for a long time now is off his shoulders,” Jonathan Toews said. “He’s done an incredible job of focusing on his team, on himself and his job of playing great hockey, which he’s done so far. It’s hard to imagine the things that would’ve gone through my head or any other players in this room, had they gone through the same situation. He handled it very well and we’re happy he can just continue to focus on hockey and keep helping our team the way he has.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Said coach Joel Queneville, “I think everybody handled it as best we could. Kaner approached it every day coming to the rink, good attitude, his focus was in the right place and he played well. The consistency of his approach helped him through it. As a teammate, I don’t recall anybody ever discussing it or talking about it. It was always business as usual and the focus was on the next game and everyone has [his] own business as well. So it wasn’t the distraction it potentially could have been.”

Whatever Kane felt throughout the investigation, it didn’t appear to affect his game. Kane currently leads the team in goals (eight) and points (18).

“Like I said before, it’s one of those things where it’s kind of been my little getaway to play hockey and enjoy being at the rink. It’s what I love to do, I love being on the ice, I love playing hockey,” Kane said. “So I’m looking forward to getting a chance to keep doing that.”

Check out the Blackhawks reaction to Kane being absolved in the pair of videos below:

Blackhawks emergency goaltender Scott Foster made his return at the NHL Awards to present the Vezina Trophy, and it was perfect

Blackhawks emergency goaltender Scott Foster made his return at the NHL Awards to present the Vezina Trophy, and it was perfect

After staying out of the public eye since his historic emergency relief appearance, Scott Foster emerged in Vegas at the NHL Awards and it was perfect. 

The 36-year-old accountant fittingly presented the Vezina Trophy award for the league's top goaltender and joked that he needed to speed it up because he had to get back to work.

Check him out on stage:

What a moment. And well done, NHL. 

Foster stopped all seven shots he faced in 14:01 of action in the Blackhawks' 6-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on March 30.

Nashville Predators netminder Pekke Rinne took home the award, but you can't argue against Foster's 1.000 career save percentage.

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Noah Dobson

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 180 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"A very effective two-way defenseman with good puck distribution and a strong shot from the points on the power play. He is a point-producer with size, who defends and utilizes strong positioning and a good stick in the defensive zone."

NHL player comparable: Brent Burns

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks lacked defensemen that generated offense last year. They also lacked defenders than can ... defend. Dobson is a player who can do both, and if he slips past Vancouver at No. 7, the Blackhawks may have a difficult decision on their hands.

Dobson could solve some of those defensive issues, but it likely wouldn't be in time for the 2018-19 season. He needs time to develop properly.

The Blackhawks like to evaluate prospects based on what their ceiling is and where they're at in their development curve, and if they see major upside here, they'll go for it. It just depends if there's somebody available that they like better.