Patrick Kane embarrassed by trip to Madison, vows change
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org July 20, 2012 9:08PM
Updated: August 22, 2012 6:16AM
In more ways than one, Patrick Kane said he needs to cool it. He knows enough is enough, and he doesn’t need anyone — not his parents or the Blackhawks — to tell him that.
Fewer parties, fewer drinks and better decisions will mean fewer photographs, fewer embarrassing moments and fewer questions for him to answer about his maturity and focus.
“We all saw the photos,” Kane said. “They’re pretty embarrassing.”
On the first day of the Hawks convention Friday, Kane made his first public comments about his party-filled (and photographed) trip to Madison, Wis., in May. He called the trip “embarrassing” several times.
Kane, of course, has been through this before. He had an incident with a Buffalo cab driver a few years ago and a shirtless ride in a Vancouver limousine.
Kane has garnered a reputation as a big-time partier and drinker in Chicago and Buffalo. Pictures of him face down at a bar or sprawled on the ground covered with beer cans, like he was in Madison, only fuel that image.
“It was the end of the season, I was up for a good weekend with my friends and things probably got a little bit out of control,” Kane said.
Does Kane believe he has a drinking problem?
“I don’t think so,” Kane said. “There’s a lot of rumors that were made about those stories [in Madison] and different things like that. But it’s something that I’ve put behind me and something [where] I don’t really want to put myself in that position again. But, no, I don’t think I do.”
The organization’s concern is that Kane’s extracurricular activities will prevent him from becoming the player many projected when the Hawks drafted him with the first overall pick in 2007. He’s coming off a season in which he recorded a career-low 66 points.
In May, the Sun-Times reported that some in the organization have suggested that Kane seek help. Coach Joel Quenneville, general manager Stan Bowman, president John McDonough and owner Rocky Wirtz have expressed their disappointment with Kane’s trip to Madison.
“We’re all around to help,” Quenneville said. “We know with young kids that’s all part of your development. Being a pro, some guys’ [learning] curve is a little bit flatter, but eventually everybody gets it.
“I think Kane’s progression has been fine. He’s a young guy in a situation where he’s having fun like kids his age do.”
Kane, 23, made it sound like he finally gets it.
“I’m not going to really get into details, but there are definitely some precautions that you want to take, and I’m handling that myself,” Kane said when asked if he needs to curb his actions on the social scene.
But if there isn’t a drinking problem, there definitely is an image problem. Kane is aware of the reputation he has fostered. The only way he can improve that is by focusing on hockey, maximizing his rare talents and helping the Hawks win again.
“It’s not fun,” Kane said. “That’s not really the person I am. I think the people that are closest to me really know who I am and what I’m about and what I want to bring to this world. That’s definitely not something I want to pride myself on, and the image that I have right now is something I can only strive to get better.
“That’s not who I want to be. I want to be someone who can be a role model to kids and to everyone for that matter.”