Buffalo Sabres forward Evander Kane has been arrested on misdemeanor criminal trespass charges, according to the Buffalo News

Kane turned himself in to police in relation to the June incident that reportedly took place at Buffalo's Bottoms Up bar. The 24-year-old is also being charged with four harassment violations, per WBEN NewsRadio 930AM.

Aaron Besecker of the Buffalo News shared a photo of Kane's arrest:

Kane has maintained his innocence.

“Without a doubt, he plans to defend himself against these charges,” his attorney, Paul J. Cambria, told Lou Michel, Jane Kwiatkowski Radlich and Dan Herbeck of the Buffalo News.

Per that report, "Kane put his hands on four people at the bar early that morning, including the bouncer and three women, according to police sources. Police allege that Kane yanked the hair and grabbed the throat of one of the women, while trying to push her into his car."

Kane allegedly refused to leave the bar and, according to the police report, grabbed a woman by the arms and tried to pull her out of the bar. He also allegedly tried to instigate a confrontation with the bouncer.

“The bouncer told him to knock it off,” a source told the Buffalo News regarding Kane’s alleged harassment of the women referenced in the police report. “He put his hands on the bouncer, who could have crushed him, but the guy didn’t want to hurt him. It’s all on tape.”

Kane was investigated for a sexual encounter he had in December 2015, after a woman he spent the night with sought treatment at Erie County Medical Center. He was never charged with a crime in the investigation.

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Buffalo Sabres winger Evander Kane has avoided criminal charges stemming from an incident at a Buffalo bar last month.

Per Lou Michel of the Buffalo News, Kane will be charged with non-criminal harassment for allegedly grabbing two women during the altercation. 

Two police sources told Michel that the charges being levied against Kane will be "based on witness statements and surveillance camera video."

Michel also noted that a third woman who was also allegedly attacked by Kane when he yanked her hair and grabbed her throat has not pressed charges. 

On June 24, per the Buffalo News, Kane's attorney, Paul J. Cambria, denied that his client was involved in any altercation at the bar: "If there was anything going on there, Evander had nothing to do with it. Evander told me that he was not involved in anything there.”

In Michel's report, Cambria again defended Kane against the allegations being made:

Evander steadfastly maintains that he did not do anything wrong. We have seen the videos and they do not support that Kane did anything wrong. I am sick and tired of anonymous sources making inflammatory allegations. If you claim something happened, don’t hide in the shadows. Anonymous sources are worthless. The courtroom is where the truth comes out.

Michel added that there is the possibility Kane could face a misdemeanor charge, but "proving intent to impede breathing or blood flow in the neck would be difficult."

As for the non-criminal charges Kane will reportedly to be facing, Michel noted that individuals do not get fingerprinted or have a mugshot taken. 

The 24-year-old Kane has spent seven seasons in the NHL, playing for the Atlanta Thrashers and Winnipeg Jets before being traded to the Sabres in February 2015.  

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When Steven Stamkos took himself off the market on Wednesday, Kyle Okposo immediately went to the top of several free-agent rankings, including mine. There were a couple of reasons for that.

First, Okposo was one of the younger players available at 28.

Second, among all forwards available entering Friday's opening bell of the market, none had more points over the last three seasons than him. As tabulated by TSN.ca's Scott Cullen, Okposo's 184 points in 210 games over the last three seasons were eight more than Jiri Hudler's 176 and 22 more than Andrew Ladd's 162.

The Buffalo Sabres were impressed enough by that and presumably other things about Okposo to offer him a seven-year, $42 million contract, which the native of Saint Paul, Minnesota, agreed to on Friday. That contract equaled that of Milan Lucic in Edmonton as the richest of the day (a deal first reported by Pierre LeBrun of ESPN).

Given that other teams had interest in Okposoincluding the Minnesota Wild, as reported by Michael Russo of the Star Tribuneit was something of a surprise that he chose Buffalo.

The Wild have not only been a perennial playoff team, but Okposo is from Minnesota and played his college hockey at the University of Minnesota.

So many players have chosen to play for the Wild because of Minnesota roots and connections, including Zach Parise and Thomas Vanek, that one might have presumed Okposo would be another.

So, why Buffalo? Why go to a team that hasn't made the playoffs since 2010-11, one that, while improving, still lacks a few key things (quality defense, goaltending, overall offensive depth) to be considered a realistic contender?

The pundits may disagree, but Okposo told TSN (via the Buffalo News) he believes the Sabres are a contender again, right now:

I think they have a chance to win a Cup. That's the ultimate goal. That's why we play the game. They have a really good of group of young players that are only going to get better.

They're a great organization obviously with the Pegulas at the helm. Everybody always talks so highly of them.

There is no question Okposo makes the Sabres a better team.

Where he plays figures to be an interesting question for coach Dan Bylsma. Should Okposo take Sam Reinhart's right wing spot on a line with Jack Eichel or should he skate with Ryan O'Reilly on the right side?

Eichel and Reinhart developed some real chemistry playing together, so it might make more sense for Okposo and O'Reilly to start out as linemates.

Okposo has proved he can score playing with good centers. He mostly played with John Tavares and Frans Nielsen over the last few seasons with the New York Islanders. Was he worth seven years and $42 million, though?

I asked some hardcore Islanders fans for their assessments of Okposo, and they were mixed:

Maybe Okposo isn't worth that kind of money and term. But it was the first day of free agency, he's still only 28 and a lot of teams were just starved for offense. The Sabres, whose 201 goals were 13th in the Eastern Conference, were one of them.

With other teams vying for his services, the Sabres had to pay a premium to get him.

Buffalo is probably still a ways away from winning a Stanley Cup. The goaltending situation is iffy and there isn't a bona fide No. 1 defenseman, although Zach Bogosian and Rasmus Ristolainen could still become those guys.

Some questionable contracts remain on the books, most especially the three years and $15 million the Sabres still owe Matt Moulson, according to General Fanager.

The Sabres touted Moulson as a big part of their future when they signed him to a five-year, $25 million free-agent contract two years ago, but he's been a major bust so far. He had only eight goals and 21 points in 81 games last season. Buffalo will also pay 37-year-old Brian Gionta $4.25 million this coming season.

So, again, why Buffalo? Okposo obviously had his reasons. Forty two million of them, for starters.

 

Unless otherwise noted, free-agency information courtesy of TSN.ca.

Adrian Dater covers the NHL for Bleacher Report.

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Playmaking winger Kyle Okposo reportedly reached an agreement Friday with the Buffalo Sabres on a seven-year, $42 million contract. 

SportsCentre provided the financial details of the signing. Arthur Staple of Newsday confirmed the agreement is in place.

Okposo has quietly been one of the league's most productive forwards over the past three seasons. He tallied 184 points (67 goals and 117 assists) across 210 games during that span, including 22 goals and 42 assists during the 2015-16 campaign.

His three-year point total ranks tied for 25th in the NHL with Matt Duchene and Daniel Sedin, who both made more appearances. His per-game scoring average over that time frame ranks 18th, ahead of marquee names such as Taylor Hall, Vladimir Tarasenko and Anze Kopitar, according to QuantHockey.com.

That consistent success put him in line to receive a massive contract after he carried a mere $2.8 million cap hit over the past five seasons, per General FanagerPeter Botte of the New York Daily News noted the winger hoped that new deal would come from the Islanders.

"It's something I feel like I've helped build since I've been here, I grew up here and matured and you definitely want to see it come to fruition," Okposo said. "You want to see it culminate in a Stanley Cup. So there's definitely some feelings of wanting it to continue, for sure."

Yet the 28-year-old star also understood the business side: "But everything must come to an end at some point. We're not going to play forever. So we'll see what happens this summer."

One question that clouded his value was how much playing alongside John Tavares bolstered his numbers. Spending some time on the wing of the dynamic center helps, but it works both ways. Okposo always held his own, whether on Tavares' line or elsewhere in the New York lineup.

In the end, the forward's comments about things coming to an end proved prophetic, as he has decided to start a new chapter of his career. Joining the Sabres is a nice fit on the surface and should give him a chance to maintain his high-end scoring pace from recent years.

Buffalo is a team on the rise, and bringing the veteran winger into the fold should be another major step toward a return to the playoffs. He'll slot in somewhere in the team's top six, alongside Jack Eichel or Ryan O'Reilly, depending on how the rest of the offseason goes for the Sabres.

Okposo is one of the biggest prizes of the summer free-agent frenzy. Now the pressure is on him to live up to the lucrative contract and the expectations that come with it.

 

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