‘I asked for trade every off-season in Winnipeg': Evander Kane

Ken Campbell
Tyler Ennis (left), Evander Kane and Ryan O'Reilly (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
Tyler Ennis (left), Evander Kane and Ryan O'Reilly (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Buffalo Sabres announced Monday that Evander Kane will be out four-to-six weeks with a strain of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee, which will still leave him plenty of time to be back in the lineup for when the Sabres visit the Winnipeg Jets Jan. 10.

Do not expect the homecoming to be a sweet one after Kane’s comments about his time in Winnipeg for a profile  in the Nov. 9 issue of The Hockey News, which is now on newsstands and available on-line. Kane recently came under some fire for hiring a helicopter to take him and some teammates to Toronto for Game 3 of the American League championship series and he responded to it by scoring the tying goal and being the first star in the Sabres shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs two nights later.

So the glare of the spotlight clearly does not bother this young man, even when that glare gets a little too hot. In fact, he embraces it.

Kane made that and dropped a couple of other pearls, not the least of which was he wanted out of Winnipeg almost as quickly as he arrived there. “Yeah, I asked for a trade every off-season in Winnipeg,” Kane told THN.

Despite both Kane and the Jets insisting there had been no trade requests in the off-season, Kane claims he asked for a trade as early as the summer of 2012 when he was coming off a 30-goal season. He asked again in the summer of 2013 and ’14, a request that was finally granted when he was dealt to the Sabres last February in a blockbuster trade that saw Zach Bogosian join him in Buffalo in exchange for Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, two prospects and a first-round draft pick.

After surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder, as well as recovering from a broken ankle and broken hand, Kane missed the rest of last season after the trade, but is now healthy and content playing in Buffalo. The player revolt, which was led by Dustin Byfuglien, which led to his trade to Buffalo was touched off when Kane showed up late for a team meeting and in violation of the team’s dress code.

Kane acknowledged it was never a good fit in Winnipeg, saying that rumors there got wildly out of control. He does admit he probably didn’t help things with some of his ventures into social media, specifically posing for a picture during the lockout with a wad of bills to his ear, but said there are things players have done a lot worse that have gone without the same sort of scrutiny and criticism.

“There are a lot of guys I could point to that everybody knows publicly who have done a lot worse or been accused of doing a lot worse things than I have,” Kane told THN, “but they don’t look like me. They don’t look like me.”

As far as his current injury is concerned, Kane went down in a 4-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils last Saturday after a check along the boards by Devils defenseman David Schlemko. Kane was down on the ice briefly and needed assistance to the locker room.

“I thought I just rubbed him out,” Schlemko said after the game. “I talked to the ref after and he said it looked like our legs just kind of locked. Looked like he grabbed his knee. Hopefully he’s all right.”

Kane had one goal and three points in eight games, much of which was spent playing on the wing with Sabres rookie Jack Eichel.