OTTAWA -- Evander Kane apologized to his teammates here Monday and then made his mea culpa public today after taking part in the Buffalo Sabres' optional workout in Canadian Tire Centre. Kane has been benched for tonight's game against the Ottawa Senators for his actions late Sunday night in Toronto that led to him oversleeping and missing practice on Monday.
"First and foremost, I want to apologize to my teammates for letting them down," Kane said. "Me missing practice yesterday was irresponsible and I take full accountability for my actions with what happened."
Kane took a private jet to Toronto after the Sabres' win over Colorado and attended the NBA All-Star Game. Photos on social media, which were later deleted, showed him drinking into the wee hours of Monday morning. Kane declined to say whether he returned to Buffalo Sunday night or if he was still in Toronto when he called the Sabres to say he wouldn't be at practice.
"I wanted to apologize to my teammates, the Pegula family as well, our coaching staff and general manager," he said. "It's something that should have never happened. It's something that I can promise you won't happen again and it's something that I'm definitely going to learn from."
Kane declined to address if he is going to re-evaluate his social media use. He is widely read on Twitter and Instagram and added a Snapchat account in the fall, which was where the deleted photos were posted.
"There were some things this weekend that shouldn't have happened," he said on the topic. "And as I just said, they won't be happening again and I can assure you guys of that."
"As teammates, we're going to take him for his word and go from there," said captain Brian Gionta. "It was disappointing yesterday. The guys are there, guys are at practice ready to work and you're missing one of your guys. It's disappointing for sure."
Coach Dan Bylsma said Kane will be treated no different than any other player going forward, even in the face of the incidents that took place last year in Winnipeg and led the Jets to trade him to Buffalo.
"It's a concern that he missed practice yesterday. It's a concern he didn't show up and he's dealing with the consequences," Bylsma said. "We have rules and he broke those rules. He's going to deal with those consequences. He's on the same leash everybody else is."
No decision has been made about Kane going forward, although he said he was hopeful he would be on the ice Friday in Columbus. Kane responded strongly to a question from an Ottawa reporter about whether he takes hockey seriously enough.
"If you watch me play on the ice, I do take hockey seriously," Kane said. "I think I can take it more seriously and I think going forward you're going to see that. I spoke to members of the organization and we all are on the same page moving forward. I'm happy with that and I'm looking forward to putting this behind me and getting back on the ice."