The Buffalo Sabres took a chance when trading away their best defenseman and a handful of prospects for Evander Kane, and now the oft-troubled forward wants to reward them for their gamble.
Kane wore out his welcome in Winnipeg, with tension in the locker room and trouble with team management hastening his exit. The Sabres traded former Calder Trophy-winner Tyler Myers for Kane, throwing in forward Drew Stafford, and prospects Joel Armia and Brandon Lemieux.
Kane said he is now looking forward to his fresh start in Buffalo.
”Sometimes things just don’t work out,” said Kane, the former No. 4 pick in the 2009 draft. ”I’m looking forward to moving on to bigger and better things here in Buffalo.”
Kane also said the situation in Winnipeg grew too difficult, with all eyes in the small and hockey-crazy town on him.
”Winnipeg is a very small town, but it’s a big hockey market. It’s a bit tougher than Vancouver or Toronto, where you can get away a little bit,” Kane said. ”Being a Winnipeg Jet was something that everybody knew who you were. They always wanted to talk to you, which is great.”
And yet, he added: ”Negative things can take a toll a little bit.”
The trade was looked at as a win for both teams. The Sabres will have a strong and capable forward in Kane on a budding team, one that will likely have either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel next year along with last year’s No. 2 overall pick Samson Reinhart.
CBS Sports writer Adam Gretz thought the trade was great for Buffalo.
“I already mentioned this on Tuesday night when word first surfaced that the Sabres and Jets might be involved in a Kane trade, but it’s the best of both worlds for a Sabres team that has nothing to play for this season except for draft position. The season is a lost cause, and has been since October. They shed players that have no long-term value to them (and in some cases, helped get them into the position they are currently in) and add an in-his-prime 23-year-old goal-scoring forward. It’s a win-win. And because the team has made an effort to stockpile more first-and second-round picks than any other team in the NHL over the past few years, they had that extra trade chip to throw in without having to give up their own first-rounder.”
Evander Kane is also thrilled to be joining the Buffalo Sabres, saying “I’m definitely excited to have a fresh start.”
[Image via Fulltilthockeynetwork]