Patrick Kane cleared by NHL
Patrick Kane is in the clear.
The NHL announced on Wednesday that it has closed its investigation into the Chicago Blackhawks superstar, deeming allegations that he'd sexually assaulted a woman during the off-season to be “unfounded.”
Kane met with commissioner Gary Bettman in New York on Monday as the final step in the process. He had been under investigation since the woman made the allegations to police in Hamburg, New York, on Aug. 2.
Local authorities announced in November that they would not press charges against Kane. Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita said the case was “rife with reasonable doubt” and that the evidence "does not sufficiently substantiate the allegation” after the woman ceased cooperating with the investigation.
The DA's decision paved the way for the NHL to clear Kane almost immediately. That it took an additional three months to do so suggests the league arrived at this result after significant internal review.
Despite playing under the weight of these allegations, Kane is having a banner season. He currently leads the NHL in scoring with 89 points in 67 games and is the favorite to take home the Hart Trophy as the league's MVP.
Here's the league's statement in its entirety:
"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."