(CBS) – Friday went a little better for Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, as he officially hit the ice at training camp in South Bend, Ind., amid a sexual assault investigation back in his home state.
Fans cheered Kane, 26, as he began practicing at Compton Family Ice Arena . And he didn’t look like a guy who hasn’t skated for most of the summer.
During the opening scrimmage, Kane assisted on a goal. Later, he talked with reporters and appeared relaxed, though he still declined to discuss accusations against him in his hometown in upstate New York.
“It’s an awkward situation, because you can’t really answer anything,” Kane said. “You’re pretty much saying the same thing for every question.
“I’m absolutely confident about myself and confident about what’s going on. It’s just the way it has to be right now.
“It’s good to get back on the ice.”
It was a contrast to the media circus Thursday, as Blackhawks officials opened training camp while trying to deflect scrutiny on their star winger. Reporters tried in dozens of ways to ask team officials and players about the sexual assault case – to no avail.
Kane, who hasn’t been charged with a crime, read a statement and took questions, some of them blunt. One reporter asked if the athlete – known previously for scrapes with the law – would stop drinking.
A woman alleges Kane sexually assaulted her at the athlete’s New York home in early August – accusations Kane denies. A grand jury reportedly is evaluating the case.