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Evander Kane on trade to Buffalo Sabres: 'It's nice to feel wanted'

2/11/2015

Evander Kane is no stranger to Twitter, but strangely enough, he found out about his trade to the Buffalo Sabres the old-fashioned way Wednesday.

"I've been having some tough nights sleeping with shoulder surgery," Kane told ESPN.com Wednesday over the phone from Winnipeg. "I woke up to a call from my agent and he gave me the news before I could even turn on the TV or check Twitter or anything like that.

"I'm excited, very excited about the trade."

He welcomes a fresh start after all the drama that fueled his exit from Winnipeg.

But first and foremost, after talking to Sabres general manager Tim Murray, Kane sees the opportunity that lies ahead next season after he recovers from his shoulder surgery.

"Once I talked to Tim and talked to my agent [Craig Oster of Newport Sports], there's a lot of excitement for the future in Buffalo," Kane said. "Just looking at next year, they're going to get a top pick and that's exciting. Just to have one of those two guys maybe to play with next year, plus the other young players on that team. The sense I got from Buffalo is that, yes they're rebuilding but they're not going to sit around and wait. They're looking to do something now. It's nice to go somewhere where you feel wanted and you feel that they want to put you in a situation to have success."

It has been a whirlwind week for the 23-year-old star winger, who became persona non-grata in Winnipeg after a controversy erupted last week following his no-show for a Jets game in his hometown of Vancouver.

"There's definitely a lot more to it than some of the funny story lines that came out," Kane said. "Sometimes you have to just let a story die and I guess that's what we'll do. But it was definitely disappointing with how everything shook out and some of the information was misconstrued, misleading, some of the facts kind of came out wrong or didn't come out at all. That's to be expected. But I'm definitely glad to be moving on and I'm going to have a fresh start with a new team. I'm looking forward to the future for sure."

What upset Kane the most was that there are people who questioned the timing of his season-ending shoulder surgery.

On that, Kane wants the air cleared.

"I had it [shoulder injury] last year and it got worse over the last two months," Kane said. "And actually, when they went in there to do the surgery, they found a hole in my shoulder as well and some other things they had to fix. It was a little more complicated than everyone thought at first, so it's really good we got it fixed now.

"That some people thought I was having surgery just to end my season, that's so not true. That's the biggest thing I want to make clear."

Kane says the shoulder problem got so bad last week that he couldn't bare it anymore.

"It's just common sense that I would have wanted to play in my hometown in front of friends and family where I know everyone has tickets to the game," said Kane, who played through a fracture ankle and a fractured hand this season. "Of course I would have wanted to. But unfortunately, it comes to a point where you just can't do it anymore because of the things I was going through. I couldn't do what I needed to do out there. It (his shoulder) would come out twice in a period, once a period, sometimes it wouldn't come out. It was tough to judge and get a feel for it."

Added Kane for emphasis: "After the break, we played in Philadelphia, our second game back, it came out twice in the third period and it just became harder and harder to continue. It was getting worse. I didn't want to put myself in a situation where it would become possibly career-threatening or maybe not be able to recover fully."

Asked about then-Jets teammate Dustin Byfuglien throwing his tracksuit in the shower last week and whether there were other incidents with teammates that led to his divorce from the Jets, Kane downplayed those things.

"I'm actually one of the guys that doesn't mind that kind of stuff, to be honest," he said of the tracksuit in the shower. "That's kind of a funny part for me hearing all this. I'm a pretty tough guy mentally and physically. I think if people thought it was just about that, that's fine. That gives me a pretty good laugh."

Regardless of what people choose to believe, he's turning the page. He's a Buffalo Sabre now.

"It's a fresh start, I'm excited," Kane said.