The Chicago Blackhawks brought out Patrick Kane to meet the media at the start of training camp at Notre Dame on Thursday, after reiterating that the winger will be attending camp despite an ongoing rape investigation back in Erie County, NY.
"The Chicago Blackhawks organization prides itself in trying to make calculated and delibrate decisions based on information we have at the present time. We recognize that Patrick Kane is dealing with a very serious situation,” said team president John McDonough. “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 repsect for the legal process."
With that, Kane read a prepared statement, roughly a half hour after the press conference was scheduled to start.
"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,” Kane said. “I am confident that when all the facts are brought to light, I will be absolved of having done nothing wrong."
It was announced that Kane would then only answer questions about hockey, and not anything related to the accusation he sexually assaulted a woman at his home and the grand jury investigation that’s accompanied. (Please note that Kane has not been formally charged by police.)
Kane was asked if he felt he embarrassed the organization.
“I appreciate the question,” Kane said, before dodging it.
Kane was asked if he ever considered staying home, and not being a distraction at camp.
“Again, I appreciate the question,” Kane said, before dodging it.
And on and on it went.
Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun Times apparently reached his breaking point, asking Kane if, regardless of the outcome of the investigation, he "would quit drinking.”
“Mark, I appreciate the question,” Kane said, before dodging it.
After about a dozen questions, Kane was excused from class; despite it being at a Catholic school, there wasn’t a nun present to whack him across the knuckles a few times.
This was, to put it mildly, a disaster.
As one NHL player agent told Puck Daddy via text: "This was a terrible idea by himself, the team and his agent. This is doing everything they didn't want to do."
The Blackhawks doubled-down on being tone-deaf and obtuse about the situation at hand, not only bringing Kane to camp but having him take questions at the presser after his statement, only to have him say absolutely nothing while uttering the same Marshawn Lynch-esque mantra of evasion.
Then, when he left, they attempted to talk hockey. As if the page was turned.
Then, John McDonough, Stan Bowman and Joel Quenneville took questions. And they dodged them.
Out of respect to the legal process. Which of course they haven't respected by having Kane at camp.
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