Despite report, Patrick Kane keeps focus on hockey

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Patrick Kane didn’t say much after a report said his accuser would stop cooperating with an investigation. | Associated Press

Patrick Kane wanted to talk about hockey. He didn’t have much to say about his legal situation.

On Tuesday, the Buffalo News reported the woman who accused Kane of sexual assault has told the Erie County (New York) District Attorney’s Office she doesn’t want to cooperate in the investigation. Per the Buffalo News report, the woman has signed an “affidavit declining prosecution” and that the “investigation has caused tremendous stress for her and her family, and that she no longer wishes to participate.”

After practice, Kane declined to say much about the report, instead trying to shift focus to the ice.

“You know, it’s the same as … like I said the other day,” Kane said. “There’s really no comment to be made, so I’m not going to say anything right now. If you guys have any questions about the game last night or the game coming up against St. Louis I’ll answer those.”

On Aug, 2, a woman made allegations in Hamburg, New York and Kane has been the subject of an ongoing investigation since.

In the following three months, the case has seen multiple turns, including the strange twist when Thomas Eoannou, the accuser’s then-attorney, claimed a rape kit evidence bag was left on the doorstep of the accuser’s mother. Eoannou quit the case a day later because he couldn’t trust what the accuser’s mother was telling him. Frank Sedita, the Erie County district attorney, said an investigation revealed it was a hoax.

Then on Saturday, the Buffalo News reported Kane likely wouldn’t be charged. Now there’s Tuesday’s report, though Kane offered little about if he’s feeling any relief that his legal situation might be clearing up.

“Like I said, if you guys have questions about the game against St. Louis or the game last night I’ll answer those,” Kane said. “I’ll answer some hockey questions but there’s no point of me answering anything else right now. Nothing’s happened.”

When Kane was asked if he was aware of Tuesday’s report, a Hawks media relations official said Kane would be happy to answer any hockey questions.

Despite what’s gone on off the ice, Kane has been one of the Hawks’ best players on the ice. Entering Wednesday’s game against the Blues, he leads the Hawks with seven goals, 16 points and a plus-seven rating and has looked like his usual dynamic self.

Coach Joel Quenneville complimented Kane for how he’s started, even with what else has been going on.

“As far as that situation is, I commend Kaner and how he’s handled it. And the team, we haven’t ever mentioned it or talked about it. It’s been business as usual,” Quenneville said. “Our focus is trying to win the next game. I think he’s gotten off to a great start to the season and it’s basically business as usual.”

Perhaps, but Kane’s legal situation has dominated talk around the Hawks. There was speculation about whether he would report for training camp in September and if his presence was appropriate given the nature of what surrounded him. There was the remarkably awkward news conference in South Bend, Indiana when he said he’d be absolved of any wrongdoing and “appreciated” questions he couldn’t answer.

What Kane wants to answer these days are questions about the Hawks. He was eager to talk about Monday night’s win over Los Angeles and what it could mean going forward.

“It was a big win for us last night. A big comeback win, being down 2-1 to a good hockey team,” Kane said. “Hopefully we can build off that, especially against another good team tomorrow.”

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