Evander Kane

Kane’s agent on KHL exit: “The coaching was a challenge at times”


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.”

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.