Evander Kane acknowledges he was in a "unique" situation in Winnipeg, and a trade from the Jets was long overdue.
The left winger got it, and he's happy to be in Buffalo now.
Kane, acquired Feb. 11 in a blockbuster deal that included Tyler Myers, held his introductory news conference Saturday in First Niagara Center. The words "fresh start" came up often.
The full audio is below. Among the topics Kane discussed:
*The shoulder surgery that will keep him out until next season.
"The surgery was a little bit more complicated in terms of what they originally thought it was," Kane said. "There’s a hole actually in my shoulder as well, but everything’s fixed and good to go now. I’m looking forward to getting back healthy."
*His warm welcome to Buffalo this weekend.
"Let’s just put it this way: I think I’m definitely excited to have a fresh start," Kane said. "I’m looking forward to moving on to bigger and better things here in Buffalo. The organization has been fantastic in how they’ve treated me so far and the way they’ve brought me in. I’m really happy, my parents are happy, and that’s a good thing as well."
*The opportunity to play with draft prospects Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel.
"Obviously, the organization is in a position to most likely be picking really high, if not No. 1, so that’s definitely an exciting possibility," Kane said. "I think both those guys are really good players. We’ll see what happens at the draft and come training camp."
*The "fishbowl" that is Winnipeg.
"Winnipeg is a very small town but it’s a big hockey market," Kane said. "It’s a little tougher than a Vancouver or Toronto where you can maybe get away a little bit. It’s a fishbowl. Being a Winnipeg Jet is something that everybody knew who you were, and they always wanted to talk to you, which is great. That was one of the things that you definitely enjoy, but negative things can take a toll a little bit."
*His desire to win and be a key player on a winner.
"Before I got to the NHL, I won at all levels and won a lot," Kane said. "It’s definitely been tough not winning at this level, so that’s something I want to change for sure."
He did not go into detail regarding the events surrounding his Winnipeg exit, saying only that some people had fun with it while others didn't.
"It was just speculation," Kane said. "I’m not really going to get into the details of what happened. Was I wearing a track suit? No, but like I said, it’s something that tends to get blown out of proportion, especially playing in a Canadian market. There’s been numerous things that have happened in the past that are completely false, and we’ll leave it at that."