Blackhawks teammates welcome Patrick Kane back to practice

Blackhawks teammates angry with Patrick Kane? Not publicly.

For Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, training camp gave him a chance to regain some semblance of a normal routine.

It included seeing his teammates again, some for the first time since Kane became the subject of a sexual assault investigation for an incident at his home in western New York.

"It's exciting to see everyone," Kane said Friday. "You try to catch up and start the season off the right way."

Kane said his teammates were excited to see him, but it would be understandable if they were not. The Hawks are trying to become the first team to repeat as Stanley Cup champion since the Red Wings in 1998.

And it would help the Hawks' efforts if one of the most dynamic players in the league was on the ice for them. But the investigation Kane is facing has put a cloud over his playing status. While the investigation moves forward with a grand jury expected to begin proceedings later this month, Kane took the ice for the Hawks during training camp. But if Kane were to be charged, he would likely face an indefinite suspension from the NHL pending the outcome of the investigation.

As such, Kane would not be able to take the ice and help his teammates in their pursuit of another Stanley Cup. It follows that there could be some anger or resentment toward Kane, but those in the Hawks dressing room expressed support for Kane.

"It's pretty simple," winger Marian Hossa said. "He came to training camp and everybody was anxious and happy to see him. For me, being in Europe, it wasn't as busy as it was over here, but I was happy to see him in training camp two days ago. We had a good talk and I'm glad he's on the ice and he looks good."

However, on Thursday, captain Jonathan Toews did not directly answer whether Hawks players were angry with Kane.

"Again, we don't want to sound like broken records up here, but there's going to be a time when questions like that can be answered," Toews said. "For now … there's a lot of things you can sit here and talk about, but for us and the other players trying to make this team, our focus is on our job on the ice."

Kane did not want to delve into what he told teammates but said he received a warm greeting.

"All my teammates have been supportive," Kane said. "I think they all seemed excited to see me the first day of camp."

When asked if he thought Kane owed the team an explanation or an apology, winger Bryan Bickell said he did not think so.

"We don't owe him anything or he doesn't owe us anything," Bickell said. "It's just (something) that we need to move on from."

But that may not be as easy as it sounds. For now, Kane's teammates are in the same position as fans, Kane and the Hawks organization — waiting to see how the investigation will conclude.

One-timers: Marcus Kruger still isn't with the team as he works through a visa issue that would allow the Swede back in American. "I'm hopeful we'll see him (Monday)," coach Joel Quenneville said. … The Blackhawks trimmed their roster to 62 players by releasing goaltender Brandon Hope. ... Andrew Shaw mixed it up with Garret Hoss in a prolonged fight that Shaw seemed to get the best of. "I didn't mind the fight," Quenneville said. "I minded how long it went. … I'd rather I was on the ice breaking it up." … Defenseman Kirill Gotovets left practice after taking a puck to the face. He skated off under his own power.

chine@tribpub.com

Twitter @ChristopherHine

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