A Buffalo, New York, judge will dismiss all charges against Buffalo Sabres forward Evander Kane if he avoids legal issues for the next six months, according to the Associated Press

Kane, 25, was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, trespass and noncriminal harassment in July after getting into altercations with three separate women at the Bottoms Up nightclub in June, allegedly grabbing them by the hair and neck before being ejected by bouncers, per the AP.

A bouncer also claimed that Kane threatened to kill him, according to court documents obtained by 7 Eyewitness News.

Kane has denied any wrongdoing, and his lawyer maintained that the agreement with the judge was not an admission of guilt from his client.

The acting district attorney, Michael Flaherty, noted "he would not call Kane's actions violent" from the incident in question and said that "Kane's conduct was arrogant and surly, but admitted his actions did not meet requirements for criminal charges," per Ed Drantch and Thuy Lan Nguyen of WKBW.com. 

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Buffalo Sabres left winger Evander Kane left Thursday night's season-opening game against the Montreal Canadiens late in the second period after falling hard into the boards and breaking multiple ribs. It is unclear when he will be able to return.

Continue for updates.


Latest on Kane's Playing Status

Friday, Oct. 14

Kane will miss multiple weeks after suffering three cracked ribs, per Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald.

On Thursday, Sabres PR announced Kane was initially taken to the hospital "for further evaluation and precautionary measures."


Injury Latest Setback in Kane's Career

Kane is in his second season with the Sabres after a disappointing six-year stretch with the Winnipeg Jets.

The fourth overall pick in the 2009 draft recorded 20-plus goals in only one season, which came in the form of a 30-goal 2011-12 campaign.

While his production was inconsistent, attitude issues worsened his relationship with the Jets, forcing the team to trade him to the Sabres in February 2015 while he was on the injured reserve list because of a shoulder injury.

He missed the rest of the 2014-15 season but recorded 20 goals and 15 assists in 65 games for the Sabres last year.

Despite a change in scenery and a decent showing in terms of goal-scoring, off-ice issues followed Kane.

"Kane, 25, is charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass and five noncriminal charges of disorderly conduct and harassment in connection with encounters he allegedly had with female patrons and a bouncer at a Buffalo bar in June," John Vogl of the Buffalo News wrote. "He is scheduled to return to court Oct. 31."

The team has already lost second-year phenom Jack Eichel to a high-ankle sprain that's expected to hold him out for six to eight weeks, according to NHL.com's Amalie Benjamin. Losing another prospective 20-goal scorer will further hurt Buffalo's offense.

While Kane recovers, the Sabres could turn to second-line left winger Tyler Ennis to step up. After seasons with 20 and 21 goals, respectively, injuries limited the 27-year-old to three goals and eight assists in 23 games last year.

                            

Stats courtesy of Hockey-Reference.com.

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Buffalo Sabres star center Jack Eichel suffered a high ankle sprain during practice Wednesday and had to be helped off the ice. It is uncertain when he will return to action. 

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Eichel Comments on Return Timeline

Friday, Oct. 14

Eichel told reporters that he didn't want to rush back and have to sit out again. He added that he wants to make sure he's 100 percent before returning.  


Latest on Eichel's Timeline for Return

Thursday, Oct. 13

Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray said Eichel is looking at a six- to eight-week recovery, according to Amalie Benjamin of NHL.com. 

Head coach Dan Bylsma told reporters that Eichel has a "moderate" high ankle sprain and is out "certainly more weeks than days."

Bob McKenzie of TSN reported Wednesday that Eichel is expected to miss at least four to six weeks, adding that it could be longer.


Eichel Leaves Practice After Scary Incident

Wednesday, Oct. 12

Tom Martin of WIVB noted that the whole team surrounded the center after he went down during the training session ahead of Thursday's season opener against the Montreal Canadiens. John Vogl of the Buffalo News provided further details along with a look at Eichel on the ice:


Eichel Looking to Build on Stellar Rookie Season

Eichel represented the ultimate consolation prize for the Sabres after they lost the draft lottery last year, which sent fellow top prospect Connor McDavid to the Edmonton Oilers. Eichel ended up scoring 56 points in 81 games as a rookie and was expected to take a leap forward in his sophomore season.

With the Boston University product expected to miss time, it'll likely lead to a more expanded role for Zemgus Girgensons. Eichel's absence would also put more pressure on the Sabres' secondary scoring contributors, a group that features Marcus Foligno and Brian Gionta, among others.

That said, the team's offensive attack isn't the same without Eichel's combination of power and speed to create scoring chances. That was on full display when he missed a game during his first season with the flu.

An extended absence would be a massive blow to Buffalo's playoff hopes, as the franchise was looking to turn the corner after an extensive rebuild.

                                                           

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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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Buffalo police on Monday released an incident report involving Buffalo Sabres forward Evander Kane, per WBEN in Buffalo, New York.

According to the report, a woman alleged Kane threatened her and attempted to force her into his car outside a Buffalo bar early Friday morning. In a separate complaint, a different woman alleged Kane tried to force her to exit the bar. Buffalo television station 7 Eyewitness News provided copies of both redacted reports:

Buffalo police spokesman Michael DeGeorge said Friday authorities had started a preliminary investigation into the allegations, per the Buffalo News. Paul J. Cambria, Kane's attorney, said his client "was not involved in an incident there."

Sabres general manager Tim Murray said he'd heard conflicting reports and didn't want to talk about the allegations in depth, per the Buffalo News' John Vogl:

I've heard the stories. The very first part of it that came out didn't sound very good. The stuff I've heard since is from people that have made statements that night that they say they didn't make statements.

I've talked to his agency. They've heard different stories than what was reported. I'm commenting, but I can't comment in detail because I've got nothing to comment on. I don't know all the details. I don't know what's right or wrong.

The police will investigate. There'll be evidence or there won't be evidence, and they'll either go forward or they'll go away.

In December, Buffalo police opened a sex offense investigation on Kane. Authorities ended the investigation in March. Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael Flaherty cited a lack of evidence against the 24-year-old as the reason not to file charges, per John Wawrow of the Associated Press, via the CBC.

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The Buffalo Sabres announced that they signed Johan Larsson to a one-year contract extension Friday, which will allow the left winger to avoid restricted free agency in the summer. 

According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, Larsson will earn an average annual salary of $950,000. 

This past season was the first time that Larsson received regular playing time in the NHL, appearing in 74 games. In the previous three years, he had appeared in just 68 games combined. 

He recorded 10 goals and seven assists as a bottom-six forward, but he did have a knack for scoring at big times, as five of his 10 goals in 2015-16 were game-winners. Only rookie phenom Jack Eichel had as many on the team.

The NHL shared a replay of Larsson's game-winner against the Detroit Red Wings in December:

Larsson also brings a mean streak to the ice, as he isn't afraid to throw his 5'11", 200-pound frame around and can spark the team with his physical play on the third or fourth line.

At 23 years old, Larsson could still develop into a regularly contributing offensive forward. If he lands in the right situations and gains familiarity on a lower line in Buffalo, he could develop into a solid role player for the Sabres as they try to build their team into a contender in the Eastern Conference.

 

Stats courtesy of Hockey-Reference.com.

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The Buffalo Sabres suspended winger Evander Kane for Tuesday's game against the Ottawa Senators for a violation of team rules, per Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News.  

Continue for updates.


Kane Comments on Suspension

Tuesday, Feb. 16

"I'm looking forward to getting back on the ice and helping the team win," Kane said, per John Vogl of the Buffalo News, who noted Kane will play on Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"It's something that never should have happened," Kane said on Tuesday, per Harrington"It's something that I can promise you won't happen again and it's something I'm definitely going to learn from."


Kane Suspended for Attending NBA All-Star Game

Monday, Feb. 15

According to Scott Swenson of WIVB 4 in Buffalo, Kane attended the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night and informed the team he wouldn't be present at practice Monday.

Some of Kane's exploits, which Harrington described as "drinking escapades after the game," were captured in since-deleted videos on Snapchat. NHL.com's Joe Yerdon sympathized with Kane to a certain extent:

Kane also posted two photos from Toronto to his Instagram account:


Bylsma Comments on Kane Attending All-Star Game

Monday, Feb. 15

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said Kane's attendance of the All-Star Game wasn't an issue, but it became one when he failed to arrive at practice, per Paul Hamilton of WGR 550: "We got out of here at 3:30 (p.m. ET) yesterday, so yes, he could've made it to the game just fine and back."


Kane Enjoying Up-and-Down Career

This isn't the first time in Kane's career he was a healthy scratch for a regular-season game. Sportsnet's Evan Peaslee recounted a number of his various indiscretions last February, when the Winnipeg Jets traded him to Buffalo.

Around this time last year, Kane missed a game following an altercation with Dustin Byfuglien, which involved Byfuglien throwing his clothes in a shower.

In December, Buffalo police launched an investigation into allegations of a sex offense committed by Kane, a claim which he quickly denied.

In terms of performance, Kane has more than delivered for the Sabres. He has scored 16 goals and assisted on eight more in 47 games. However, his troubles off the ice continue to overshadow his contributions on it.

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