Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
Make a play for Kane, and many believe he can’t and won’t change his off-ice demeanour. At one point Monday, a TSN 1040 poll showed 56 per cent of 700 respondents didn’t want the Canucks to make a trade pitch. Then again, make a play and others will point to an exciting 30-goal winger with a palatable contract of two more years at a $5.2-million-US annual cap hit ($6 million in actual salary). The Canucks have also had past interest in Kane.
Canucks general manager Jim Benning wants to add a proven scorer with grit to take the pressure off Sven Baertschi. With $3.4 million in cap space, there are safer and cheaper routes to travel in free agency, but the Canucks need to take a hard look at travelling the bold road. Trying to win and getting younger at the same time is a conundrum. For everything Kane has done wrong off the ice, he could be the right answer on it. He could help fill those empty Rogers Arena seats, and help propel the Canucks back to the playoffs.
Kane is better than the 20 goals he had in 65 games last season, in 21 minutes of average ice time, because he was shut down with an upper-body injury in March. He has imposing speed and his 6-2, 204-pound frame allows him to drive wide around defenders and unleash a good shot. If he develops a better net presence, and a better two-way game because he was a minus-14, another 30-goal season like the one he had in 2011-12 with Winnipeg should be attainable.
from Lou Michel, Jane Kwiatkowski Radlich and Dan Herbeck of the Buffalo News,
Three Buffalo Police detectives were seen meeting Kane outside the Central Booking Bureau in City Court around 11 a.m.. They put handcuffs on Kane and accompanied him into the City Court building. Kane turned and walked away from a Buffalo News reporter when she asked them if he had any comment.
Although Kane voluntarily turned himself in to police, he still proclaims his innocence and plans to fight the charges, his attorney, Paul J. Cambria, told The News.
“Without a doubt, he plans to defend himself against these charges,” Cambria said....
Sources familiar with the case told The News Kane will face one count of misdemeanor criminal trespass – for allegedly refusing to leave the bar.
added 5:27pm, The Buffalo News updated the story with this...
Buffalo Sabres forward Evander Kane was charged with criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and harassment today in connection with an incident at a downtown Buffalo bar last month.
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
This summer has been like no other for Harvard hockey standout and North Reading resident Jimmy Vesey. He’s had Buffalo Sabres GMs and coaches fly to Boston in order to pitch him on signing, and he’s got a score of NHL teams just waiting to get a chance to sign him when he becomes an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 15.
The 23-year-old said it was “comfortable” and a “very good meeting” with the Sabres contingent of GM Tim Murray, coach Dan Bylsma and former Harvard assistant coach/Sabres scout Jerry Forton last week when they flew to Boston to make their pitch to Vesey. But the Hobey Baker Award winner and his camp are insistent on getting to the Aug. 15 date when he’ll become a free agent, and talk to “a short list” of teams.
“I think it would be a little crazy to meet with all 29 teams,” admitted Vesey to CSN in an exclusive interview prior to his weekly Wednesday night appearance in the summer pro league at the Foxboro Sports Center. “We have a little bit of a short list going that I’ve worked on with my agents and my family. We’re going to narrow it down as best as we can, and get through it as quickly as we can on Aug. 15.”...
The sense at this address: the Bruins, Sabres, Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils are the teams on Vesey’s short list with the Pittsburgh Penguins as a possible dark horse candidate after winning the Stanley Cup last spring. There’s little doubt the B’s could use him to step right into a top-6 wing role after losing Loui Eriksson in free agency. Vesey’s presence might also free up Don Sweeney and the Bruins to trade another talented young forward for the puck-moving defenseman they’ve needed for more than a year.
I now have two healthy kids, and both of them were born on Long Island. I grew up there, and bought a home and started my family there. I’ll never forget my time as an Islander. It was so special to me. Thank you so much to all the Isles fans who stuck with us through thick and thin. Your loyalty meant so much to me and the team.
The next chapter in my life begins now. I’m not the same 19-year-old kid I was when I stepped into the arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, and thankfully I don’t have the same haircut. I’ll be bringing my family to Buffalo and I’m so excited to put some roots down in the 716. I’m looking forward to getting involved in the community and having my kids grow up in Western New York.
-Kyle Okposo at The Players' Tribune where you can read more from Okposo.
from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,
The feeling will be very different for the Bruins going forward as far as the Sabres are concerned. The days when lowly Buffalo was one of the pushovers of the East are over. Hand-in-hand with a partial renaissance of the formerly sad-sack downtown area, the team suddenly appears to be a legit contender to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
We’ll quickly find out how the Bruins and Sabres match up, with the clubs having all four of their 2016-’17 encounters in the first 39 games of next season, all before the New Year.
Buffalo had a decent 2015-’16 season — going 35-36-11 — but should make a big jump this year.
The Sabres’ signing of ex-New York Islanders right winger Kyle Okposo (seven years, $42 million) represents both a significant talent boost and an indication that the team is no longer viewed as a perennial loser....
Just consider what the Sabres’ depth chart could look like next season:
• A first line of Evander Kane, Eichel and Okposo
• A second line of Tyler Ennis, O’Reilly and Sam Reinhart
• A third line of Nicolas Deslauriers, Zemgus Girgensons and Brian Gionta
• A fourth line of Matt Moulson, Johan Larsson and maybe rookie Alex Nylander (or maybe Vesey).
from Lou Michel of the Buffalo News,
Sabres forward Evander Kane put his hands on four people - three women and a man - at a Chippewa Street bar during the early morning of June 24 but he will face non-criminal harassment charges for his actions against just two women, two police sources familiar with the case told The Buffalo News.
The charges will be lodged in connection with grabbing two women – one of them by the neck - and are based on witness statements and surveillance camera video, the police sources said.
Kane also yanked the hair and grabbed the throat of a third woman, but she has not come forward to press charges, the sources said. In addition, Kane grabbed a bouncer after the bouncer warned the hockey star to stop his aggressive behavior, the police sources said.
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
The Sabres are going to use many tactics in their recruiting pitch to Jimmy Vesey. Kyle Okposo revealed the simplest one of all.
Tell Vesey the Sabres are going to win.
Okposo, officially introduced Thursday in Buffalo, sees good things ahead for his new organization and hopes Vesey sees it, too.
"I would tell him that we’re going to be a good team for a long time, and it’s going to be a fun organization to play in," Okposo said in First Niagara Center. "When you have the Pegulas at the helm, it’s going to be a great organization. We’re going to be contenders. That’s something that isn’t always there on teams. I know that personally. We went through a really tough stretch with the Island.
"There’s not going to be those rough times ahead. We’re going to be good."
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
His freshly printed Harvard diploma sits among the clutter on the kitchen counter at home in North Reading. Between workouts and skating sessions, he has yet to find time to get to The Coop, pick out a suitable frame, but surely will toss it in with his shirt, tie, and skates when he packs up to begin his career journey in September.
For now, Jimmy Vesey, NHL free agent to be, just isn’t sure where that journey will begin.
“Obviously, on Friday, all the big names are going to go off the board,’’ Vesey said as the weekend approached, noting how Day 1 of NHL free agency ultimately could influence where he’ll sign his first pro contract. “Then I can really sit back and start looking at roster depth charts.’’
“If it’s true, then we have to deal with it the way we have to deal with it. If it’s false again, then I guess we have to come up with a different plan of attack on how to make sure that these accusations that may not be true, how we stop them.”
-Timn Murray, GM of the Buffalo Sabres on the report of an Evander Kane incident at a Buffalo bar. More from John Vogl of the Buffalo News.
via Elliotte Friedman tweets,
Just saw BUF and FLA reps at Central Registry table. I think this might be Kulikov
Hearing Kulikov to BUF. Not sure of return yet.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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