CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane met with the media Friday for the first time since unflattering photos of him partying in Madison, Wis., were published on the Internet, and he didn't shy away from any questions.
"Look, it was embarrassing," Kane said prior to the opening ceremonies of the Blackhawks Convention at the Hilton Chicago. "That's the first thing I can say. From all the pictures that came out, everything, from the disappointment from the Hawks organization, to my family, to myself personally, it's 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 little kid one day that really looked up to stars like myself and I try to give them that on my behalf."
Kane, 23, was photographed during a party in Madison, Wis., on Cinco de Mayo May 5 and the photos on deadspin.com showed an allegedly intoxicated Kane attending the Mifflin Street block party and cavorting with college students, apparently passed out at a bar and, in one, appearing to walk away after speaking with a police officer.
"It's something that hopefully I can learn and mature from," Kane said. "It's still part of my maturation process and something I'm still trying to get better at. And the biggest thing, it was embarrassing. That's from deep down inside me.
"For myself to my family, to everyone that supported me -- the Hawks organization has been great -- to the fans. It'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. It's something I'm looking to put behind me and try and move forward and be the best person and player I can be."
Following the latest misstep, the Chicago Tribune asked if Kane believes he has a drinking problem.
"I don't think so," Kane said. "It's something I put behind me and something I don't want to put myself in that position again but, no, I don't think I do."
Here's more from Kane:
"The biggest thing for me is I love playing hockey. My favourite thing to do in this world is to be on the ice playing hockey and try to entertain fans and bring wins to the Chicago Blackhawks. That's what I'm all about. That's probably what I thought too much about and not the other things off the ice so much. It's something you have to reinvent yourself. I know the person I am and I know the person I can be. I have to make those things stop happening.
"We all saw the photos -- they're pretty embarrassing. Nothing illegal happened. It was the off-season and you're trying to have a good time, but you have to realize the spotlight you're in no matter where you are. For me, the situation I'm in now is you always have to act like someone is watching you."
-- Chicago Tribune