Buffalo Sabres: Evander Kane and Justin Falk get into it at practice

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 12: Evander Kane
BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 12: Evander Kane /

Evander Kane has played it cool during his time with the Buffalo Sabres, but it sounds like his old habits could be making their way into the locker room.

Through the halfway point of the NHL season, it’s safe to say the Buffalo Sabres will be looking to offload some of their players at the trade deadline on Feb. 26.

Evander Kane is the biggest prize up for grabs from the Sabres this season. The winger currently sits second in team scoring behind Jack Eichel, with 35 points in 43 games. Last season, Kane scored 28 goals and had 43 points in 70 games.

The question with Kane has never been his skill or scoring ability; those two assets have always been a clear plus for the 26-year-old. The issues stem from his antics off the ice, and locker room encounters with teammates.

Whether it be his several social media posts flaunting his money, or his now infamous tracksuit incident while with the Winnipeg Jets, Kane is a lightning rod for criticism.

Since his departure from Winnipeg, Kane has seemingly calmed down and flown under the radar. But it seems as though issues have arisen with him and his teammates behind the scenes, as reported on Twitter by Sabres’ beat writer Bill Hoppe:

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Kane has been loosely linked in trade rumours with Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose and Tampa Bay. How much do incidents like these diminish his value to teams vying for his services?

Yes, he is a proven producer at the NHL level, but how many teams want a presence like his in their locker room during a Stanley Cup run?

In the era where hockey players are easily the least charismatic of any of the top North American sports, Kane is one of the personalities in the league. That can be looked at as a positive or negative.

General Manager Jason Botterill has said he is not sure whether he will re-sign or trade Kane yet. It might be best to cut his losses and move him before the situation spirals out of control. It’s no secret that Kane is on the market. He knows it, and now his old habits are coming back to haunt the Sabres.

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They’d do well to maximize their return and move on before it comes back to bite them. He was the centrepiece of the trade that sent Tyler Myers out of town. They need to get a good return for him so they can retool for the future.