SOUTH BEND, Ind. – NHL star Patrick Kane spoke publicly Thursday for the first time since a rape allegation was made against him.
“I am confident I will be absolved, having done nothing wrong,” Kane said at a news conference a day before Chicago Blackhawks training camp was scheduled to begin at the University of Notre Dame.
Kane, who did not answer questions related to the accusation, also said, “I cannot apologize enough for the distraction this has caused my family, teammates, this incredible organization and, of course, our fans.”
Team President John McDonough said Blackhawks officials spoke with Kane’s legal representatives before deciding to bring him to camp.
“We recognize Patrick Kane is dealing with a very serious situation,” McDonough said, adding, “We have decided to have Patrick join us for training camp.”
McDonough said a report of him being “volcanically outraged” at Kane was a “fabrication.”
“This hasn’t been an easy situation to deal with. It’s been a challenging summer,” McDonough said.
Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman and coach Joel Quenneville also spoke at the news conference.
A grand jury review of rape allegations against Kane was abruptly postponed Sept. 8.
Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III postponed the start of the grand jury review and declined to comment on the Kane matter.
“Grand jury proceedings are secret, and as I have said on many occasions, I neither confirm nor deny or even comment upon the existence or nonexistence of an investigation until such time as someone is charged with a crime,” Sedita said last week.
Kane’s attorney, Paul J. Cambria Jr., and the alleged victim’s attorney, Thomas J. Eoannou, have steadfastly declined to discuss the case.
No criminal charges have been filed against 26-year-old Kane, a South Buffalo native and one of the biggest stars in professional hockey. He has been accused by the young woman of sexually assaulting her in his lakeside Hamburg mansion after meeting her at Skybar in downtown Buffalo on Aug. 2. The woman has alleged that Kane overpowered her, raped her and left her with a scratched leg and bite marks on her shoulders. The woman went to the hospital and underwent tests from a rape examination kit.
Town of Hamburg police and the District Attorney’s Office have been working together in investigating the allegations.
News Sports Reporter Mike Harrington contributed to this report.