Patrick Kane saw all of the photos of his intoxicated Cinco de Mayo weekend, saw the stories that came out of them, true and not true. And on Friday, Kane finally addressed them.
He was embarrassed, he said, for himself, for his family and for the Chicago Blackhawks. He said thats who he doesnt want to be and that he wants to move forward.
Now he has to do just that.
Kane, speaking to the media for the first time since that Madison, Wis., weekend, said he realizes the mistakes hes made have hurt him and others around him, that the reputation is there and that he needs to handle himself better. Now.
It was embarrassing, thats the first thing I can say. All of the pics that came out, everything, disappointment from the Hawks organization to myself, Kane said as the Blackhawks kicked off their fifth-annual convention at the Hilton. I try to pride myself on being involved with the fans, taking pictures when asked for them, because I was that little kid once who looked up to stars. But its something hopefully I can learn and mature from. Thats not who I want to be. I want to be a role model to kids, to everyone for that matter. Im looking to put it behind me and try to move forward and be the best person I can be.
Kane has said these words before, because hes been in this situation before. Yes, he is just 23 years old and doing things a lot of other 23-year-olds would do. He did nothing illegal that May weekend. But, as Kane said, at the end of the season I was up for a weekend with my friends, and things probably got a little out of control.
The image I have now, I can only strive to get better, he said. The stories I have to put behind me; the same with the reputation. I love playing hockey. Its my favorite thing to do in this world. Thats what Im all about and thats probably what Ive thought too much about and the other things off the ice, not so much. You have to reinvent yourself. I know the person I am and who I can be.
When asked if he may have a problem with alcohol, Kane said he didnt. Kane has laid low ever since that weekend. He said hes spent his summer at home in Buffalo, hanging around with family and friends nice, quiet and peaceful.
Kanes made some bad off-ice choices in his young career. Every organization wants their players on their best behavior, and the Blackhawks are no exception to that. The lessons have been there for Kane. Its up to him to learn from them.
Whether its in Buffalo, Wisconsin or Chicago, I cant look at it as Im trying to have a good time or feel sorry for myself. I have to realize who I am and the spotlight Im in, he said. Thats what I have to do a little bit better is recognize who I am in those situations. Ive definitely gained that from experience. The people closest to me really know who I am and what Im about and what I want to bring to this world.
Its something I want to put behind me, Kane said. I dont want to put myself in that position again.