Patrick Kane: ‘Blackhawks star’ speaks to media for first time amid investigation

Patrick Kane : Blackhawks star speaks to media for first time amid investigation
Patrick Kane : Blackhawks star speaks to media for first time amid investigation

Patrick Kane has broken his silence, speaking publicly for the first time since sexual assault allegations came to light last month.

Star hockey player Patrick Kane added another apology to his litany of “I’m sorry” moments, appearing at a press conference Thursday at Notre Dame with Chicago Blackhawks team president John McDonough prior to the start of training camp.

Kane remains the focus of an investigation into rape allegations made by a young woman in August.

“I cannot apologize enough for the distraction this has caused my family, my teammates, this incredible organization and, of course, our fans,” Kane said. “I am confident that once all the facts are brought to light I will be absolved of having done nothing wrong.”

His awkward phrasing notwithstanding, this has been a confusing, muddled, infuriating time for the Blackhawks as management waits to learn whether their star — a young man whose name was once mentioned in the same reverential breath as Stan Mikita’s and Bobby Hull’s — will be charged with a felony crime.

Kane has helped the team win three Stanley Cup championships. At the same time, he’s embarrassed himself and the team several times with his drunken, loutish behavior. This time, it’s possible that behavior may have ended in a heinous act.

Even with that, a grim-faced McDonough told reporters that, after much speculation and uncertainty, the Blackhawks made a “calculated” decision to bring Kane into training camp.

Many thought he shouldn’t be there. And it’s possible even if he’s not charged with a crime, the NHL could sanction him.

Kane and McDonough spoke from South Bend, home of the University of Notre Dame, a university whose patron saint is none other than the blessed Virgin Mary. Training camp begins here on Friday. Kane hasn’t spoken to the news media since a rape allegation was lodged against him in early August in his hometown of Hamburg, New York, where he met a 21-year-old woman at a bar and took her to his home after a night of drinking.

The woman told police he bit her, scratched her and forced himself on her. She immediately went to a hospital where rape tests were performed.