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Sabres' Kane flashes the charm as trade rumors swirl

When Evander Kane turns on the charm, he owns the room. There was no doubt the Buffalo Sabres' dressing room belonged to him Wednesday.

Kane knows he has to make the most of it while he can.

As the minutes ticked toward Monday's NHL trade deadline and the left winger's inevitable departure, his megawatt smile and wit were on full display. Kane is among the most talked-about players in the league at the moment, and it was wondered if he follows the chatter on social media.

"Heavily on it," he said in a droll, sarcastic tone, "every five seconds. Refreshing, refreshing, refreshing, refreshing, refreshing. I love the hockey critics, especially the guys with the fake profiles. Are those the bots now? You know, the robots?

"I love it, you know? It's just great. Just criticizing my play, what I'm doing, what I'm not. It's awesome, so I refresh, I try to stay up to date."

Kane actually does follow Canadian hockey journalists Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger.

"They send out those friendly reminders that there's going to be some fake profiles out there, right?" Kane said in KeyBank Center. "I think I've seen a few of those.

"Obviously, I'm aware of what's going on. I have social media. Do I spend all day looking at it? Absolutely not. But who knows? I know guys who have found out via social media before anybody else knows."

All he knows for sure is it will be reported by 3 p.m. Monday that he's been traded.

"Yeah, if you guys are waiting for me to say it," he said before heading to Detroit for Thursday's game. "It's been talked about. It's been documented. It's unfortunate, but it's the situation we're in and part of the business.

"I'm not thinking about it right now too much. I'm trying to focus on the games that we have left before that deadline. We'll deal with the move when it happens."

Kane is represented by Newport Sports Management Inc., one of hockey's powerhouse agencies. His representatives are well-informed, but there's still plenty of uncertainty as to where he'll end up.

"Obviously, your agent knows what's being talked about and what's been said," Kane said. "It's a little tougher when it comes to a trade, especially at the deadline because there's so many different things that can happen. It's a little different from free agency per se where you have pretty much all the control.

"I have a feel of what teams might be interested and what teams aren't interested, but I really have no idea. I'm going to find out just like you guys do."

Mike Harrington: As countdown hits final week, Evander Kane forges on


In the meantime, he'll go about his business as usual. After the Sabres visit Detroit, they'll head to Washington for a game Saturday. Kane didn't pack anything more than he'd normally bring for a two-game road trip.

"I've never been traded before in this situation," said Kane, who joined the Sabres in 2015 after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery. "I'm packing like a regular road trip and looking forward to playing in Detroit with these guys.

"Really, my focus right now is just on Detroit. When the deadline gets closer and closer, I guess we'll see what happens."

Considering it may have been Kane's final time in the home dressing room of KeyBank Center, he was again offered the chance to reflect on Buffalo. He again declined.

"Once the move is made, then we can reflect for that day," said Kane, who did reflect on the grind of the daily trade spotlight. "I've never been through it before, so I don't think you can really know how you're going to feel throughout the course of a season, but I was definitely prepared for it.

"There's so many things that can happen, but it looks like we know what it is going to happen."

Inside the NHL: Sabres in the thick of the deadline chatter

Injury update

Goaltender Robin Lehner (hip) practiced fully in HarborCenter and said he's "100 percent ready" to start Thursday if called upon.

Center Jack Eichel peeked his head into the dressing room for a minute, but Sabres coach Phil Housley had no update on Eichel's high-ankle sprain that occurred Feb. 10.

"We haven't had any updates," Housley said. "We're just going to see how this progresses. It's a tough injury. You never know how you're going to react or come out of it. We're just going to let it settle down. It's still in the situation it was before."

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