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Sabres Notebook: Murray to have talk with Kane; goalie reneges on deal

Maybe the latest investigation of Evander Kane will show he did nothing wrong. Maybe it won't. No matter the result, he can expect a sitdown with Tim Murray.

Based on Murray's comments Friday, Kane should walk away feeling like an embarrassed kid instead of a 24-year-old professional.

Murray, who addressed the police investigation of the Buffalo Sabres forward last weekend, expanded his thoughts in First Niagara Center during an otherwise celebratory free agency news conference.

"We don't like the fact that this is twice now that he's been in incidents like this," the general manager said. "It's not good for the organization. It's not good for him.

"He's going to have to pick and choose his spots when he goes out a lot better than he does, and he's going to have to behave himself a lot better than he has."

Kane was accused of assaulting and harassing two women June 24 while on Chippewa Street.

"It's a very serious charge and we take it seriously, but I want to wait and see," Murray said. "Is he going to be charged? Is he going to be found guilty? I don't know that.

"We'll go with whatever the ruling is, and then whatever the ruling is, we're obviously going to have a sitdown, good or bad, and we're going to go from there. But he has to deal with these charges, which are serious."

Kane was also investigated for sexual assault in December, but no charges were filed.

"Whether he's done these things or not," Murray said, "it's not something that I like getting up in the morning and reading about, that's for sure."

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The Sabres will head into the second day of free agency looking for a backup goaltender. They thought they had one Friday.

"I had a verbal agreement, and it was reneged upon about a half an hour after we had already put him down on our depth chart," Murray said.

The GM wouldn't say which goalie backed out of the deal, but a source says it was Jeff Zatkoff. The 29-year-old signed with Los Angeles to back up Jonathan Quick.

Murray was clearly perturbed while relaying the story of the goalie telling both teams he'd sign while driving up his price. Zatkoff got a two-year deal from the Kings worth $900,000 per season.

Other goalies signed while the Sabres believed they had Zatkoff. Ben Scrivens and Jhonas Enroth are among the few netminders with experience remaining. Rookie Linus Ullmark is presently in line to be Robin Lehner's backup.

"If we can sign a real good backup we will," Murray said. "If we can trade for one, that's a possibility. Maybe we sign a real good American League goalie and Ullmark's here to start the year."

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Buffalo signed minor-league defensemen Justin Falk and Taylor Fedun to two-way contracts.

Falk is a 6-foot-5, 224-pounder who split last season between Columbus and its farm team, which won the American Hockey League championship. The 27-year-old has two goals and 23 points in 171 NHL games with Minnesota, the New York Rangers and the Blue Jackets.

"Big, gritty defenseman that's won a Memorial Cup, won a Calder Cup this year, has played NHL games," Murray said. "He's a winner and he's competitive. I like his makeup."

The 28-year-old Fedun is a 6-foot, 200-pounder who recorded eight goals and 33 points in 63 games with Vancouver's minor-league club.

Murray agreed to a $600,000, two-way contract with Williamsville's Cole Schneider on Thursday. The 25-year-old, fifth-year pro made his NHL debut with the Sabres during the final two games of last season.

"He's been in our gym since the middle of May," Murray said. "He's going to be bigger, stronger, faster come September, so we'll see if that is why he's not been an NHL regular or played more than two games. He's a top, top player at the American League level, and we need that. We need Rochester to be better, so we know he's at least that."

Murray got defenseman Jake McCabe locked up to a three-year, $4.8 million deal Thursday.

"It gives him some stability," the GM said. "It gives us three more years to help him get to the top of his game. We think his top end is pretty high in this league."

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