Patrick Kane can’t completely escape his off-ice troubles. Not while he’s at the center of a police investigation into a sexual assault allegation made against him. Not with what Erie County district attorney Frank Sedita called the “three-ring circus” that has surrounded the case. Not with the apparent hoax that turned the case upside-down over the past few days.
But when Kane is in the Blackhawks dressing room, in his uniform, on the ice — it’s as close as he can get to normal.
“Especially being around your teammates, being in an environment that you love to be a part of, that obviously helps,” Kane said after Saturday’s morning skate. “There’s still plenty of things that are obviously going on away from the rink that keep your attention. But when I’m here in this locker room, at the rink, on the ice, that’s what I’m focused on.”
Kane declined to get into specifics on the wild events of the past few days — the accuser’s attorney claiming a bag that once held the accuser’s rape kit was found on the accuser’s mother’s doorstep; the accuser’s attorney then quitting the case; Sedita deeming the bag a hoax — but stuck to his statement at the opening of camp that he’s confident he’ll be cleared of any wrongdoing.
“That’s all speculation and assumptions,” Kane said. “Obviously, I believe what I said, and I think that’s been reiterated many times by not only myself, but my lawyer, as well. But what’s going to actually happen is just speculation, so I don’t know. I don’t know what comes next.”
For now, it’s just hockey. From an on-ice standpoint, Kane said the investigation has him slightly behind, but that “it’s starting to come around.”
Kane was cheered loudly at both the training camp festival last Monday and the preseason opener on Tuesday. Kane — who even offered his congratulation to the Cubs for clinching a playoff spot — said the support has meant a lot.
“Yeah, the fans have been great,” he said. “I obviously appreciate that. My family’s been awesome. My girlfriend’s been great. I think everyone — especially the Blackhawks organization, as well. Everyone’s kind of stuck with me through the whole thing. It’s good to have that support. Support’s been huge throughout these past couple of months.”