Evander Kane’s agent has shed some light on his client’s decision to part ways with Dinamo Minsk after just 12 games in the KHL.
“I’ve spoken to Evander and he just found the hockey to be different,” Craig Oster told the Winnipeg Free Press. “The style to be different, the training to be different.
“I think the coaching was a challenge at times.”
It’s not surprising to hear of a possible coaching issue.
After just three games, Dinamo bench boss Kari Heikkila blasted Kane for being out of shape, saying the 21-year-old was “not ready yet to play on KHL level.”
As for the hockey being “different” overseas? Well, that’s a possible explanation for why one of the NHL’s premier young power forwards flopped so badly in Minsk.
Kane finished his brief KHL stint with one goal and no assists in 12 games, and his most noteworthy moment was receiving a one-game suspension for a check to the head of Avangar Omsk defenseman Nikita Pivatski.
To be fair, Kane isn’t the only NHLer that’s had a less than stellar European experience:
— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty left struggling Swiss team Ambri-Piotta after just five games.
— Philly’s Wayne Simmonds bolted Czech club Liberec following an ugly racial incident.
— Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec left his Czech team after posting a 3.50 GAA and .896 save percentage in 14 games.
— Carl Hagelin of the New York Rangers suffered a serious shoulder injury while playing in Sweden.
Oster also suggested the nature of Kane’s contract with Minsk played a role in his departure.
“This arrangement didn’t have a set time limit. It was a month-to-month deal,” Oster explained. “For both sides, it felt like it had run its course.”