Patrick Kane finally made a public statement in front of a media horde at Notre Dame’s Compton Family Ice Arena. Kane, one of the star players for the Chicago Blackhawks, had to suck it up and deal with questions that neither he nor the team could answer. With respect to the legal process, neither party can answer any questions involving the ongoing investigation, which links Patrick Kane’s name to a possible sexual assault.
Kane sat at the podium to read a prepared statement, he had to know what was coming. He started by apologizing (courtesy of the Chicago Sun-Times) to his family, team and fans.
“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. I have too much respect for the legal process to comment on an ongoing matter, I am confident that once all facts have (come) to light, I will be absolved of having done nothing wrong.”
After reading his statement, Patrick Kane took on questions. So did Blackhawks president, John McDonough. Most of them were about the investigation. And most of the answers were met with an awkward, “I appreciate your question.” Each inquiry thrown about was another punch to the gut of the Blackhawks organization.
McDonough, according to the Toronto Star, delved into what led to the decision to have Kane at training camp.
“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. Furthermore, we have the utmost respect for the legal process.”
You can watch the Blackhawks’ opening statement here (courtesy of the Chicago Blackhawks official website).
There are a handful of words that can describe what took place not too long ago at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Embarrassing, heartbreaking, unnecessary and typical are among them.
The Patrick Kane investigation is an embarrassing situation for the Chicago Blackhawks, who did themselves no favors by trotting him out there. Any show of support should have happened behind closed doors until some formal charges are levied. The Blackhawks are in the business of hockey, and the Patrick Kane investigation has nothing to do with hockey, except for the fact that he is paid to play the sport.
The Patrick Kane investigation is without resolution. What was to be gained in having him face questions?
The statement was not well-written and delivered in a clumsy manner. Prepared statements often seem forced. No one in attendance, no one who watched it on television, or heard the statement over the radio, left with the feeling of sincerity. Kane sounded like a young man who just wanted to play hockey, which showed as he stumbled in reading every word.
The farcical Patrick Kane portion of the press conference is Exhibit A why Kane never should have been brought to camp.— David Haugh (@DavidHaugh) September 17, 2015
This took away from any good feeling that the team and fans were trying to forge. And for that, the blame must go to the Blackhawks organization. They should have left Kane back at home, instead of wasting time with the foolishness. A professional team deserves better than that. The other players on the team deserve better. Patrick Kane answering, or in this case, not answering questions was an epic fail.
The media day session before training camp was supposed to be a big celebration after just winning the Stanley Cup a couple of months ago. Reporters hoping to have their hockey-related questions were brushed to the side in favor of the investigation.
Despite the fact that no criminal charges have officially been filed, the Patrick Kane investigation is bigger than hockey. It is heartbreaking to see the Blackhawks organization under siege by this. A proud franchise with dedicated people deserved better than what is being said. All of the chatter is about whether or not he is guilty. It is an unnecessary, unwanted distraction for a team vying to become a sports dynasty.
Dynasties are rare in sports. Having a great player mired in this muck can cripple any built up goodwill created. The Chicago Blackhawks had some time to decide how they wanted to do damage control. Making Patrick Kane face the music gives the franchise a dark cloud that will hover above it for quite some time.
It may be a bad idea for Patrick Kane to attend the Blackhawks training camp.
The Patrick Kane investigation did not have to be the full story. All the Blackhawks’ organization had to do was issue a statement regarding the matter and immediately begin discussing the upcoming season. All while leaving the right winger behind to ponder his fate. Kane deserves to have to stew in a corner somewhere regardless if he is guilty or not. He made a big mistake. How big will be determined by the courts. They will also decide whether or not it was a mistake, or a crime. That alone should have been reason enough for the Blackhawks to leave him to work out his matters away from the team.
He does not appear to be a bad guy. No one knows how he truly conducts himself during his private time, except for those who are close to him. It is clear that Patrick Kane is suffering from the impending investigation, the distractions of it. It is also apparent that he feels that he did nothing wrong.
According to the Buffalo News, a reporter asked Patrick Kane if he needed to stop drinking. Kane simply stated that he appreciated the question.
Not that he could answer that question truthfully, but what the reporter asked leads to the microcosm of what is wrong here. It is something that Patrick Kane is supposed to ponder for the rest of his life.
Is it time for Kane to leave the partying behind and just play hockey?
That should have been the case before the dark cloud formed. At some point sound judgment must take precedent over everything else, especially when there is so much to lose.
It is great to be a young and wealthy person, but that comes with a heightened sense of responsibility, not an entitlement. His responsibility is to his family, his team and himself.
The Patrick Kane investigation is one huge blow for everyone involved. Having Kane face the media did a total disservice to the Chicago Blackhawks.
(Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images Sport)