Hawks try to move past limo photo flap

Updated: January 29, 2010, 2:31 AM ET
By Jesse Rogers | ESPNChicago.com

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Hours before one of the bigger games of the season, the Chicago Blackhawks addressed a series of photos showing three of their players shirtless in a limosine with two unidentified women.

Patrick Kane, John Madden and Kris Versteeg were in the photos that were taken in Vancouver over the weekend and have been circulating the Web.

"It's not the way we want to represent the team, but it's been discussed internally [with the team]," Kane said after Thursday's morning practice before the Hawks faced the San Jose Sharks. "It's been figured out inside this locker room.

"We've had the support of most of the team, and like I said, it's been handled inside that locker room. That's all we really care about in here, and we are focused on the game tonight."

Kane said the photos were taken after the Hawks played in Vancouver on Saturday night. This is Kane's second off-ice incident in less than a year. Last summer he was arrested, with his cousin, in a dispute with a Buffalo cab driver.

"I've had a couple of incidents, obviously," Kane said. "I'm 21 years old. It's probably time to grow up a little bit."

At 36, Madden was signed to be a veteran leader. He said "it's a given" he'd rather the limo incident hadn't happened. But he doesn't think it will take away from what the Hawks want to do on the ice.

"I don't think it will be a distraction at all," Madden said. "This team is a tight bunch of guys.

"We've dealt with this already. We've played one game [a 4-2 win Tuesday in Edmonton], and it didn't distract us from that. Our focus is on San Jose. We've dealt with it internally, and we're moving on."

As captain, Jonathan Toews addressed the situation as well, trying not to "single" anyone out and doing his best to keep it a team matter.

"We're all in this together," Toews said. "We're all frustrated, but we're going to go out there and focus on what's more important, and that's how we're playing.

"We're dealing with is as a team. We're all responsible for it. We're all responsible for our actions on and off the ice. ... No one is being singled out here. We're going to try to answer back with the way we perform and the way we play."

Coach Joel Quenneville had a short statement echoing the players' thoughts.

"The situation was addressed, and we're going to keep it internal," Quenneville said. "We already played a game. We were in Edmonton, and [the photos] was out there, and it was addressed and we handled that game alright."

The Hawks play the Sharks in the seventh game of an eight-game road trip. They are 4-2 on the trip with one more contest, in Carolina on Saturday, before returning home.

Jesse Rogers | email

Chicago Cubs beat reporter
Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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