According to a statement issued Wednesday, the NHL has concluded their investigation into sexual assault allegations against Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane.
The league’s final determination was that the allegations were “unfounded,” and the NHL now considers the matter to be closed.
Here is the full statement from the league:
“The National Hockey League announced today that it has completed its independent review of the Patrick Kane matter, the final stage of which included an in-person meeting between Kane and Commissioner Gary Bettman in New York on Monday, March 7. Based on its review, including the determination made by the Erie County District Attorney not to pursue charges, the NHL has concluded that the allegations made against Kane were unfounded. The league considers the matter closed and will have no further comment.”
In early November, Eric County prosecutors elected not to file charges against Kane, who was facing accusations stemming from an incident over the summer in his home state of New York. The league continued its investigation after the criminal proceedings were closed due to a lack of evidence.
Kane addressed the allegations most recently in an exclusive interview with Sports Illustrated.
"There’s been plenty of times that I’ve wanted to defend myself in the whole situation, but it’s kind of in the past now. I’m just looking forward to moving on from everything," Kane said in the exclusive interview.
In the article, team owner Rocky Wirtz defends the decision to allow Kane to continue playing despite the claims being made against him.
“There were facts that we knew that were told to us—but hadn’t been made public—and that’s when we made our decision," he said. "We believed Patrick when he said he didn’t do anything. With the supporting facts around it, we took him at his word—and rightfully so, I think."
As for whether or not the allegations have fueled his success this season, Kane says he's simply working hard for his fans.
“Guys’ll say, ‘He’s been scared straight’, but I almost feel like I owe it to other people now," he told the publication. "Especially the Hawks’ organization, my family, my friends and the people who really supported me and believed in me.”