The Chicago Blackhawks organization has remained mostly mum on the off-ice issues surrounding winger Patrick Kane this summer, but Jonathan Toews broke the silence during a radio interview on Thursday night.
The interview, which was conducted on TSN 1290 in Winnipeg, touched on numerous topics, and Toews was ultimately asked (albeit somewhat indirectly) about how the team was responding to the Kane controversy. Here is the question he was asked (h/t to Josh Cooper of Puck Daddy for the transcription of the question:
"Jonathan, I do want to ask you one question about being the captain of the Blackhawks. Obviously most peole are aware of a situation that has been developing regarding one of your star teammates. Obviously I won't ask you to comment on anything like that but when something like that happens during the offseason does your focus as far as dealing with your teammates as well as the media change going into training camp as the captain of the team?"
Toews' response to the question, transcribed by Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune:
“I think you have confidence that things like that will resolve themselves over time. For the time being, you stay together as a team. You support your teammate…uh teammate, teammates that are maybe going through a rough patch. You know, we saw it last year with some rumors that spread through social media about several guys in the locker room. It’s not the first time we’ve seen situations like that and eventually you deal with it internally and you stay together as a team and you’re confidence as individuals and as a group that everyone kind of stays together.
“At the end of the day, we always say to each other that what is said and what is done within the locker (room) is the only thing that matters. We don’t let anything going on on the outside affect the way we do our jobs and the way we come to work together as a team. Again, I got a lot of credit because I have the “C” on my sweater and I think we have a great group of guys who understand what it takes to be a leader, what it takes to be part of a good team. Clearly, it’s more than just what happens on the ice. There’s always a lot of things being said and things going on off the ice but no matter what, we do a good job of sticking together.”
Toews obviously isn’t comfortable addressing the Kane allegations directly (and it’s unlikely that the organization would want him to do so anyway), but these comments are ones that will likely be echoed throughout the group of players that the team has. No one is going to comment directly until there is resolution one way or another, and they will likely stick to the talking point of keeping things “in-house” until such time that it is no longer tenable to do so.