“We take the allegation made today against Evander Kane very seriously,” the Sabres said. “We are gathering facts and have been in touch with the NHL and Evander’s representatives. Until we have more information we will not have any additional comment.”
According to The Buffalo News, the incident allegedly took place Sunday morning in a downtown hotel near First Niagara Center. The news outlet cites three police sources and confirms that Kane has not been charged with any crime.
“We have an investigation ongoing,” one source said. “We are not naming the suspect, and we do not expect it to be resolved in the very near future.”
The Buffalo Sabres confirmed that Kane was not at practice on Sunday and cited “personal issues” as the reason for his absence.
Kane arrived in Buffalo in February after a less than stellar tenure with the Winnipeg Jets. He was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers fourth overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and debuted out of training camp in the 2009-2010 season. An injury kept him from putting in a full year, but he still polished off his rookie campaign with 26 points in 66 games.
After the Thrashers relocated to Winnipeg, Kane put up solid numbers. He led the team in scoring at times, but injuries continued to hound him. During the NHL lockout of 2012-2013, he became the first Canadian player to sign with a KHL team. He lasted a dozen games before he was released.
Trouble began to flare shortly after that, with a Vancouver man suing Kane for assault. It’s worth noting that local police investigated matters when they were first filed and found insufficient evidence “to support or recommend any criminal charges.”
The incident, along with more than one occasion on which Kane was a healthy scratch under new boss Paul Maurice, led to sour feelings between player and team. Kane eventually voiced that he didn’t feel the Jets “had his back,” which led to the February of 2015 trade to Buffalo.
Since his arrival in Buffalo, Kane has tried to fit in with the team and things have gone well so far. But this incident won’t help matters.
Kane will be represented by lawyer Paul J. Cambria, who many will remember from his work with Patrick Kane after the Chicago Blackhawks forward found himself in trouble over rape allegations. Those allegations, also branching from an suspected incident in Buffalo, were eventually dismissed due to a lack of evidence.