When the Buffalo Sabres acquired Evander Kane on February 11 from the Winnipeg Jets, the deal was done with the belief that he was going to be a main cog for the future of the team rather than the current season. He had undergone shoulder surgery just four days prior to the trade happening, and was expected to be out of action anywhere from four to six months, putting his return around the time training camp begins for the 2015-2016 season.
Because of rehab for the shoulder, Kane has had plenty of time to sit back and watch as the general manager Tim Murray’s vision for the future of the organization unfolds. From the hiring of Dan Bylsma to be the team’s new head coach to the upcoming NHL Entry Draft where Boston University product Jack Eichel is expected to be the second-overall selection, Kane can’t help but feel the excitement about the direction of his new team.
“Ever since I got traded here I’ve been super excited,” Kane told Sabres.com’s Brian Duff. “To kind of be here now that the season’s over and see things come together piece-by-piece, it definitely adds to that excitement.”
Speaking of excitement, Kane couldn’t have nicer things to say about Bylsma being his new head coach. The two met for three hours while both were in Buffalo last week in order to get to know each other, and talk about what the future could hold for the team.
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Kane said that after meeting the new Sabres bench boss, he got the sense that he was a very charismatic and detail-oriented person. He also added that he hopes Bylsma will be able to bring what worked with the top talents in Pittsburgh to Buffalo.
“I think with Buffalo, here, we have a lot of good young talent,” Kane said. “Hopefully he’ll be able to, kind of, teach us to play a more skilled game, and, probably, an uptempo game that he seemed to like to play in Pittsburgh.”
He added: “I’m looking forward to that.”
On the shoulder front, Kane said that, although he’s still a couple weeks away from getting back onto the ice, he has no doubts that he’ll be ready for the start of training camp in September. In a recent statement to Pro Hockey Talk, Kane’s agent stated that Kane is ahead of schedule with his rehab.
Michael is a former Managing Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s covered the Buffalo Sabres, along with the NHL in general, for various outlets since 2009. His work has been featured on outlets such as Yahoo, Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports.