Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane for the first time addressed the sexual assault investigation against him Thursday and declared he had "done nothing wrong" and expected to be absolved.
Appearing calm and poised, the 26-year-old Kane acknowledged that it has been an "incredibly difficult time for many people" since the allegation surfaced in early August.
"I cannot apologize enough for the distraction this has caused my family, teammates, this incredible organization and, of course, our fans," said Kane, flanked by team officials including team President and CEO John McDonough. "While I have too much respect for the legal process to comment on an ongoing matter, I am confident once all the facts are brought to light I will be absolved of having done nothing wrong."
Kane is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in her 20s in August at his offseason home outside Buffalo, New York, a person familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because police have not revealed details of the case.
Kane has not been charged, but the case has shadowed the Blackhawks for weeks as they prepare for a season that begins at home on Oct. 7. The team held the news conference the day before training camp begins on the Notre Dame campus.
"We recognize that Patrick Kane is dealing with a very serious situation," said McDonough, who was joined by coach Joel Quenneville and general manager Stan Bowman alongside Kane. "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."
He then said the team would have no further comment on the case. Kane steered questions away from it, too.
"I'm excited to be here at camp just like all the players," he said. "It's good to see your teammates especially after a long summer."