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Kane apologizes for taxi incident

by Shawn P. Roarke / NHL.com
WOODRIDGE, Ill. -- Patrick Kane wishes the incident of Aug. 9 would go away, but he knows that is not going to happen.

In his first public comments since his arrest for his role in an alleged assault against a cab driver in Buffalo, N.Y. -- Kane's hometown -- the Chicago Blackhawks forward said he knows the incident will be part of his burgeoning legacy for the next few years.

"There'll be some jokes for the next couple of years," Kane said after the first day of practice at the 2009 United States Olympic Men's Orientation Camp here at Seven Bridges Ice Arena. "I'll just have to learn to deal with it."

That process began Monday as he faced approximately 100 members of the media in a morning press conference. At that time, he made a 50-second prepared statement and took no questions. After his morning practice session, he answered questions, but did not discuss the Aug. 9 incident in detail because of the ongoing legal proceedings.

"I know everyone wants to talk about what happened in Buffalo," Kane said during his prepared statement. "As you know, the legal proceedings are pending and I can not discuss the details at this time."

But, he did make a point to apologize for the fallout from the alleged incident, which saw Kane and his cousin, James Kane, also arrested in the early-morning hours of Aug. 9 after an alleged scuffle with 62-year-old cab driver Jan Radecki over cab fare.

Pat Kane and his cousin were charged with robbery and misdemeanor counts of theft and criminal mischief in the wake of the incident. A grand jury is expected to decide this week whether Kane should face criminal charges.

But, that decision is in the future. Monday, Kane wanted to think only about hockey and his chances to make the United States Men's Olympic Team.

"Because I put myself to be in the wrong position at the wrong time, I've caused a lot of pain for my family, my hometown of Buffalo, the city of Chicago, the Chicago Blackhawks and obviously the great fans we have here in Chicago. For that part, I sincerely apologize.

"Now, it is time for me to move forward. I'm excited to get back to the ice and represent the Chicago Blackhawks and the United States Olympic hockey team."
"Because I put myself to be in the wrong position at the wrong time, I've caused a lot of pain for my family, my hometown of Buffalo, the city of Chicago, the Chicago Blackhawks and obviously the great fans we have here in Chicago. For that part, I sincerely apologize." - Patrick Kane
Kane was warmly greeted Monday morning by the capacity crowd at Seven Bridges Ice Arena. There were plenty of red and white Hawks jerseys with Kane's No. 88 on them as he took the ice. He was warmly applauded when he was introduced to the crowd.

"Everybody has been pretty supportive so far," Kane said. "There were still a lot of Kane jerseys out there in the stands. So, there is a lot of support still out there."

And, there is a lot of support in the Team USA room for Kane, who should be a primary offensive weapon on what should be a young and dynamic Team USA squad.

GM Brian Burke went out of his way repeatedly in his comments to assure everyone that Kane's Team USA candidacy would not be compromised by this incident.
 
"I do believe character is a vital element to putting together a team," Burke said. "I've always stressed it and I always will. I think it is possible for a young man to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and make a poor decision. I know when I was his age, I did a couple of things I wouldn't want to talk about here.

"Being at the wrong place at the wrong time or making a poor decision does not affect my judgment of Patrick Kane or his ability to make the team."

Kane's teammates are also not passing judgment.

Mike Modano, at 39, is the elder statesman among the players at this camp. But, he remembers what it was like to be 20 years old and in the public eye as a superstar for the first time.

"There are life lessons and things that happen and I was no saint when I was 20 years old either," Modano said. "I'm sure it's a decision he'll learn from and be a lot better from. But there are a lot of ups and downs and lot of things I did that were never caught on tape or film or Facebook or camera phones back in the day. I anticipate he'll learn from this."




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