Kukla's Korner

The Sabres Observer

It’s Time For A New Narrative On Evander Kane

It was easy enough to see, even before last night's 2-1  Buffalo shootout win over Toronto, how good Evander Kane had played as a Sabre.

Fifteen shots on net, one disallowed goal and two assists in five games, a 54% Corsi For rating on a 40% Corsi For team, and an energy and presence on the ice that even passed the eye test.

Well, easy enough to see if you aren't a writer either too lazy to do his homework or carrying aspirations of induction into the Hot Takes Hall of Fame.

The centerpiece of a blockbuster deal with Winnipeg late last season, allegedly on the wrong end of "one of the more one-sided trades in NHL history", finally got what he deserved -- a game-tying goal and first star of the night. He also played over 22 minutes, had 7 shots on goal and led the team with 4 hits to boot.

For more reasons than just last night's stellar performance, one question needs to be asked.

What the hell is everyone's problem with Evander Kane?

Is it just a case of jealousy of a young man with big money, good looks and elite talent? Anger over his not playing when he needed a shoulder operation? Obsession over a stupidly silly and unverified story about a track suit? Piling on with a nobody fan whining about not getting an autograph? Fury over his audacity to dream out loud about scoring 40 or 50 goals? 

For those of you with a bad habit of believing everything you read in trashy articles born from either a lack of hockey sense or a desperate need to create a controversial buzz, and given that carte blanche has apparently been granted to make grand assumptions after only a few games, allow me to tell you about the Evander Kane we know in Buffalo.

He's been nothing but a pleasure to watch, intense and involved on the ice, calm and pleasant with reporters, and is such a bad teammate that he rented a helicopter to bring a few of them who are Blue Jays fans to Toronto for a MLB playoff game.

And, yes, he's been engaging in social media, sharing his life with Sabres fans who enjoy reading about his lifestyle, humor and fashion sense rather than enviously trashing it.

Oh, and one other thing -- he's been Buffalo's best player.

What's the worst thing Kane has done as a Sabre? He put his stick in the face of Dion Phaneuf last night and it wasn't called.

Oh well -- sorry about that, Toronto. Fourteen years of watching Mats Sundin taught us the good ones get away with things sometimes.

The good news is intelligent fans won't again be subject to the sensationalism of the Kane narrative until he goes another few games without a goal. Now would be the perfect time for many to rethink their attitude about his young man, but sadly most won't.

The hatred for someone, whose biggest crime to date has been having too much fun with a camera, will unfortunately continue. Because wealth and success always equate to arrogance, no famous and beloved athlete has ever turned down an autograph, and Dustin Byfuglien is a pure angel.

Let's be better than this. 

Follow me on Twitter

dd@kuklaskorner.com

Filed in: | The Sabres Observer | Permalink
  Tags: evander+kane

Comments

Canucklehead's avatar

Kane ending up in a Canadian market didn’t help.  The fishbowl effect was overwhelming in Winnipeg.  Too many of us (I’m Canadian as well) expect every hockey player to be quiet, unassuming, and to just play hockey.  Kinda like Toews or Crosby.  Those guys are stereotypical Canadian players.  Guys like Kane, Subban, Ovechkin don’t fit that mold and I’m glad they don’t.  The NHL needs personality, not a bunch of robots.

Kane is none of that.  He’s brash, he’s outspoken.  But he is very talented.  I see some of the same attacks on Subban.  And, I have to wonder if some of the backlash is because of the colour of their skin.  I hope not, but to me it’s suspicious.

I really hope that Kane prospers in Buffalo so Winnipeg can see what they’re missing by driving him out of town.  I want him to make them regret giving up on him.

Posted by Canucklehead from Ottawa, Ontario on 10/22/15 at 10:59 AM ET

nEgativezEro's avatar

And, I have to wonder if some of the backlash is because of the colour of their skin.  I hope not, but to me it’s suspicious.

I really hope that Kane prospers in Buffalo so Winnipeg can see what they’re missing by driving him out of town.  I want him to make them regret giving up on him.

Posted by Canucklehead from Ottawa, Ontario on 10/22/15 at 11:59 AM ET

It absolutely has to do with the color of their skin, at least in part. Especially when you’re talking about Subban. It’s detestable that this is still the case, but it’s a sad fact of life.

With Kane specifically, there was definitely an immaturity about him that still persists. The talent is there, of that there is no doubt, but he hasn’t taken the game as seriously as a pro should at this point in his career. The same type of issues that have dogged guys like Alex Semin as well. Tons of talent, but not always visible on the ice.

Hopefully age and a new setting will allow Kane to thrive. He’s looking pretty good so far in Buffalo.

Posted by nEgativezEro on 10/22/15 at 11:35 AM ET

Canucklehead's avatar

When Subban came into the league, I wasn’t much of a fan of his, to be honest.  The past two or three years, he’s really grown on me.  The guy just exudes love for hockey and he’s absolutely amazing with kids.  That video of him disguised as a bus driver (or whatever he was) and then jumping on the ice with them was great.  The crap he takes is in no way deserved.  He donates $10M to a hospital and people attack him and say it’s only for the tax break or that he should give more since he earns so much.

Posted by Canucklehead from Ottawa, Ontario on 10/22/15 at 12:04 PM ET

KelseyAnn's avatar

He donates $10M to a hospital and people attack him and say it’s only for the tax break or that he should give more since he earns so much.

Posted by Canucklehead from Ottawa, Ontario on 10/22/15 at 01:04 PM ET

I had a chuckle when I read the backlash on that. Some people will find any reason to complain if they don’t like someone instead of just taking a good story for what it is. With all the bad happening in the world it’s nice to see something positive…I wonder when was the last time they donated such a substantial amount of money to a hospital, tax break or not?

Posted by KelseyAnn from Ahwatukee, Arizona on 10/22/15 at 01:49 PM ET

Avatar

I liked Subban more before the mega announcement his foundation which he will be contributing to was pledging 10 million. There’s plenty of players who donate with less publicity and plenty of people who donate similar amounts of their paychecks even if the whole 10 million was going to be PK’s.

Posted by smopes on 10/22/15 at 03:17 PM ET

Paul's avatar

FYI, Evander Kane just favorited the tweet from Dave recognizing the post.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 10/26/15 at 05:40 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Sabres Observer

Dave Davis has covered the Buffalo Sabres for various NHL accredited websites and newspapers since 2003.  He was the senior writer and Sabres correspondent for The Fourth Period, covered hockey for Western New York Sports and Leisure Magazine, and has had articles featured on NHL.com, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and in New York Sportscene.  Sabres news and notes can be found on his Twitter page.

2014-15 NHL Reverse Standings

 

Email: dd@kuklaskorner.com Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]