Blackhawks

Patrick Kane, Blackhawks stay quiet as investigation continues

kane-hawks-insider-0917.png

Patrick Kane, Blackhawks stay quiet as investigation continues

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.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

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.

[MORE: Eddie O trusts Blackhawks made right decision bringing Kane to camp]

“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.”

Hawks Talk Podcast: Crawford's return, Saad's demotion and power play concerns

saad_crawford_usa_today.jpg
USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Crawford's return, Saad's demotion and power play concerns

In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Charlie Roumeliotis and Slavko Bekovic provide their thoughts on the Blackhawks’ 3-0-2 start.

They also discuss Brandon Saad’s demotion and whether it could serve as a wake-up call, Corey Crawford’s potential return on Thursday vs. Arizona and what could happen with Anton Forsberg because of it, and address the power play concerns.

The guys wrap up the podcast by making a few bold predictions going forward.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below, and be sure to subscribe, rate us and write a review!

10 years with 'Coach Q' anything but ordinary

10 years with 'Coach Q' anything but ordinary

Over the last 10 years, the words “ordinary” and "OK" have taken on a new meaning to Blackhawks players and fans alike. 

That’s “Coach Q” speak. 

A language where “ordinary” means awful and “just OK” means you were a non-factor. The good news is the last 10 seasons under Joel Quenneville have been anything but ordinary at the United Center. 

On Oct. 16th, 2008, the Blackhawks let go of fan-favorite Denis Savard after a 1-2-1 start to the season and named Quenneville as head coach in his place. Quenneville coached the Colorado Avalanche the previous season, but after another disappointing exit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the two mutually parted ways. He had originally planned to stay away from the bench for at least a season, but the Blackhawks triumvirate of Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough and then-GM Dale Tallon brought Quenneville on as a scout and then handed him the keys to the car shortly after.

“Dale’s obligation is to put together a winning team,” said McDonough at Quenneville’s introductory press conference. “At this point, Joel is the coach of that team.”

It was an emotional day at the Blackhawks offices. Savard – a Blackhawks legend on the ice and a coach the players held in high regard – was let go just as things started to turn upwards for the organization. The end of the 2007-2008 season saw the Blackhawks once again miss out on the playoffs, but the fans began to flock to the United Center once more, and the hype train around the young team built around Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane was gaining steam.

“Moving forward, if we want to be a championship-caliber organization, we have to make tough decisions,” said Tallon. “This was the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make.” 

Savard was 65-66-16 in parts of three seasons as head coach of the Blackhawks. Meanwhile, Quenneville had compiled eight 95+ point seasons behind the bench for the Blues and Avalanche in his 11 years as a head coach.

“We felt the experience and the track record of Joel would be a balance that we needed with a young, inexperienced team,” said Tallon. "Joel brings us a wealth of experience and a winning track record that will have an immediate and lasting impact."

The gamble paid off for the Blackhawks in a major way. Once Quenneville took over, the team got to the sought-after next level. 

They finished the 08-09 season with 104 points, third-most in the NHL’s Western Conference, had a franchise-record setting 9-game win streak in the month of December and returned to the playoffs for the first time since the 2001-2002 season. The “young and inexperienced” Blackhawks took the league by storm, dropping the Calgary Flames in the first round of the playoffs in six games before taking down the rival Canucks in the next round.

They ultimately lost out to the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Finals, but the bar was now set for the organization. From then on, the Blackhawks were Stanley Cup contenders. 

Quenneville currently ranks 2nd in franchise history with 449 wins, trailing only Billy Reay’s 516. 

But most importantly, Quenneville’s 76 playoff wins rank at the top in the organization’s long and storied history, and those three Stanley Cups that he’s raised over his head were anything but “ordinary.”