in the first period at American Airlines Center on January 26, 2017 in Dallas, Texas.

Evander Kane has entered the news again. This time though, he’s in it for the right reasons and not the off ice issues since he joined the Buffalo Sabres.

At the start of the 2016/2017 season, it seemed that this would be a make or break year for Kane. In the very first game of this year, he crashed hard into the boards and was out a month with cracked ribs. The injury put the Sabres in a bad stretch to start the season with many other injuries to other key players like Jack Eichel. Kane missed 11 games in total. But his return provided the spark the Sabres needed to get back into a playoff race.

Three Reasons Evander Kane is Key For The Buffalo Sabres

1. Scoring like crazy

Since Kane returned to the Sabres, he has been on fire. As of Sunday February 12, his stats include: 21 goals, 11 assists, 32 points in 48 games. Not bad for a player who needed a bit of bounce back for a few years on and off the ice.

With his great play of late there comes the trade rumours, with some analysts arguing that Buffalo needs a top four defencemen. Kane is being positioned as someone who would fit nicely for many top contenders in the NHL. The idea to entertain offers certainly must be considered by Sabres GM Tim Murray.

2. Hitting His stride

With that said though, Evander Kane has seemed to finally hit his stride with the Sabres. He, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have been reunited together and keeping Kane as an important part of that line combination is important now and in future. And with his unique skill set, he also offers some flexibility if the Sabres look to move their line combinations around.

3. Off Ice issues have cleared up

Kane was traded by Winnipeg a couple of years ago because of alleged off-ice issues with some of his teammates. The issues of course followed him to Buffalo. His great play of late and putting the off-ice problems behind him has ultimately put him on this year’s version of the Sabres, and has made him a key player for this team going forward.

Things are definitely going to get interesting in the western side of New York State in the next few years. And if the Sabres were smart, they’d consider holding on to him.

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