During the NHL Media Tour going on in Chicago on Friday, Blackhawks star forward Patrick Kane spoke to the media and said that he did not know about the alleged sexual assaults involving his former teammates and former Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich back in May of 2010 and that he has cooperated with the investigation into the organization’s handling of those allegations being done by the law firm of Jenner and Block.
Patrick Kane told me he has participated in the Jenner & Block investigation. Called the allegations "disturbing" and said he "feels for" John Doe. But said he didn't know of it at the time, and never saw or heard any homophobic bullying in the years after. pic.twitter.com/jFASJ97s0v
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) September 17, 2021
From the report by Stephen Whyno of The Hockey News:
“Obviously very serious allegations, and everyone knows that,” Kane said at the annual NHL/NHLPA preseason player media tour. “But I will say that I didn’t know anything about it at the time and did participate with the investigation.”
These were the first comments that Kane has made since the sexual assault allegations surrounding the Blackhawks and former video coach Brad Aldrich have become public. As for major players on the Blackhawks that were part of that 2010 team, Kane and Jonathan Toews have now both spoke about the allegations and have both said that they did not know of anything that had happened at the time that they are alleged to have happened (May of 2010).
Their statements are contradictory to what former Blackhawk (and member of the 2010 Stanley Cup Championship team) Nick Boynton has said about the knowledge that players had of the alleged incidents. Along with the allegations of knowledge of the incidents from Boynton and former Blackhawk Brent Sopel, there have also been allegations that the former players assaulted by Aldrich were subject to homophobic slurs and taunts from teammates at Blackhawks practices after the incidents were alleged to have happened. Kane also denied having seen or heard any type of comments being made at that time.
Along with Kane’s comments, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly also spoke about the ongoing investigation of the Blackhawks and said that the league has no timetable for when the investigation will be completed. According to multiple reports, Daly and the league have been kept up-to-date on the Jenner and Block investigation proceedings, which the Blackhawks have said they will make public once the investigation is completed.
Daly says the league supports the Blackhawks’ decision to make the findings public, but that they would have supported the club in any decision they were to make in that scenario.
“We probably would have supported the decision if it was different, if it was made for the right reasons,” Daly said.
In an interview with Mark Lazerus of The Athletic, Daly goes on to say that the NHL has never actually considered suspending or putting Blackhawks President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Stan Bowman on leave while the investigation is ongoing. This comes after a recent request made by Child USA to have Bowman suspended from his position with USA Hockey for the 2022 Winter Olympics was rejected by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).
We will continue to keep up-to-date on the developments of this story as it progresses.