Despite another misstep earlier this summer, Patrick Kane does not believe he has a drinking problem.
Kane was asked that directly Friday at the opening of the Blackhawks convention at the Hilton Chicago, and he took the question head on.
“I don’t think I do,” Kane said.
Kane attended the Mifflin Street Block Party in Madison, Wis., on Cinco de Mayo, and shortly after, photos of a seemingly intoxicated Kane appeared on Deadspin.com.
“It was embarrassing, that’s the first thing I can say,” Kane said. “All the pictures that came out, everything, from the disappointment from the Hawks organization, to my family, to myself personally, it was embarrassing.
“I try to pride myself on being involved with the fans and taking pictures when they’re asked for because I know I was that kid who really looked up to stars like myself.
“Hopefully it’s something I can learn, that’s still part of my maturation process.
“That’s not who I want to be,” Kane added. “I want to be someone who can be a role model to kids, to everyone, for that matter. It’s something I’m looking to put behind me, be the best player and person I can be.
“It was the end of the season and I was up there for a good weekend and hopefully I can use it to make me a better person.”
Kane said he needs to be smarter whenever he is out in public.
“I think the biggest thing is I have to realize who I am as a person, no matter where I am, Buffalo, Chicago or Wisconsin,” he said. “That’s probably something I can be better at.”
Kane admits he has a reputation that is not very flattering.
“It’s not fun,” he said. “That’s not really the person I am. I think the people who are closest to me know what I’m about and what I want to bring to this world. That’s definitely not something that I want to pride myself and the image I have right now.”
The Hawks have stood behind Kane at every turn, and he appreciates the support.
“It’s obviously a concern when you hear rumors,” Kane said. “I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t. That’s part of what comes with being a Chicago Blackhawk. You know how well you have it here. That’s another scary thing. You want to be part of this organization.”
Kane didn’t want to address reports claiming the Hawks came to him and said enough was enough.
“I think I probably knew that myself, and you can go back to past incidents,” Kane said. “I don’t think that was something that needed to be said.”
Coach Joel Quenneville sees Kane as no different from a lot of young players who need guidance.
“I think as young men, we learn lessons in life,” Quenneville said. “I think Kaner has been through a few things, and eventually you get it. It’s all part of the growing process.
“We’re all around to help, whether it’s a teammate, whether as a coaching staff. We’re all supportive. We know with young kids it’s all part of your development and being a pro.
“It all pays off in the end. I think Kaner’s progression has been fine. He’s a young guy in a situation where he’s out having fun, like kids his age do.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.