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After yesterday’s fiasco wrapped in embarrassment wrapped in 10 minutes of appreciating questions but not answering them, Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks hit the ice on Friday at Notre Dame to the adoring cheers of his fans.
There were an estimated 4,000 fans at the practice, and there was a loud ovation for Kane when he skated out and again when he picked up an assist during a scrimmage.
"That's a pretty cool reaction, especially given the circumstances," Kane said . "You didn't really know what to expect. I thought it was one of those things when you're going on the ice you don't know what's going to happen. To hear that reaction from the crowd definitely gave me chills. It was an exciting moment."
… "That's the first time I've been on the ice in a while," Kane said. "It's good to get back on the ice. I was a little rusty at first and even throughout the day. It's one of those things you want to get better every day, keep pushing until that Oct. 7 date and try to peak then. Once you get out there, I think it is. You kind of get back into your element and enjoy playing hockey. Especially just being around your teammates on the bench joking around, having some laughs. It was good to get out there and do that."
If you’re wondering about the fans who showed up at Blackhawks training camp to support Kane as he faces an investigation into alleged sexual assault in Erie County, NY, the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Hine interviewed some of his backers:
One such fan wearing a Kane jersey was Tim McDonnell, former Chicago resident who now lives in Dowagiac, Mich. "I’ve got a daughter so I get the other side of the whole rape thing, I’m very sensitive to that," he said. "But he hasn’t even been charged with anything and I’m a big believer in the Blackhawks organization and if they didn’t feel strong enough about him, he wouldn’t be here.
Another fan wearing a Kane jersey was Mary Ellen DeRicco, from Huntley, who said, "In my opinion, I hope he’s cleared. I hope nothing happened. "When asked if she's OK with him practicing, she replied: "Yes, unless he’s charged, he has a right to be here. That’s where I draw the line. "
“The whole rape thing...”
Anyhoo, if you’re interested in hearing more opinions about Kane and the Blackhawks’ decision to bring him to camp, please check out the Grandstanding podcast from Yahoo Sports’ Jay Busbee and Kevin Kaduk that’s included in this post, as well as the Friday episode of Marek Vs. Wyshynski, which you can listen to here.
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