BUFFALO, N.Y. - Evander Kane has battled various injuries throughout his career -- broken ribs, torn knee ligaments and a concussion have forced Kane to miss games. Kane has been more fortunate this season, staying healthy and avoiding injuries. The veteran winger has played in each of Buffalo's 15 games, and leads the Sabres with nine goals and 15 points.
"It's not like I had these chronic injuries like a groin or bad back. Just these freak accidents," he says. "I go 40 miles per hour into the boards and break four ribs. Or another player runs into me and I tear an MCL. I get hit awkwardly and tear my other MCL. A little more luck, and I've been able to stay healthy."
Kane's production has prodded Phil Housley to feature him more on the team's struggling power play unit; the Sabres have scored on just 11.5 percent of their man-up chances (6 goals on 52 power plays), the third-worst rate in the league.
"We're just trying to give it a new flavor," says the Sabres head coach. "Give Evander some more time on the power play. In that middle spot, he's a threat to score. He's got an incredible release and we can find him. He's a guy that will push and go to the net for high rebounds."
When Housley joined the Sabres, he promised that every player would be given a clean slate. Kane has been plagued by off-ice issues over the past few seasons, but Housley has praised Kane for his work ethic and consistency.
"He's led by example.," says Housley. "He plays the game the right way. I like the way he approaches the game. He's been one of our most consistent guys."
"A lot of the things that have gone on on and off the ice the past few years, last year I put behind me," says Kane. "You can't do it for one year. I have to prove that I'm an elite player in this league."