Evander Kane

This time Evander Kane won’t guess when Noel will say he’s ready


Evander Kane (lower body) has been cleared for contact and was healthy enough to join the Winnipeg Jets for Friday’s practice. If you want to know when he might be back though, don’t ask him.

“We’re not going to go down that road again,” Kane told the Winnipeg Sun.

The 22-year-old forward attempted to guess his return date from a lower-body injury in November, and when he Jets coach Claude Noel kept him out of the lineup longer than predicted, Kane argued that he was actually a healthy scratch. That might have contributed to later reports of tension between Kane and the club.

As far as Saturday’s game goes, Noel isn’t prepared to declare him ready to return after participating in just one practice.

“Normally we go a little longer for that,” Noel said. “Nothing’s changed. You want to try set a player up to succeed. And I’m not sure I feel comfortable with that right now.”

Kane has missed five straight games. Even when he’s been healthy, he hasn’t lived up to expectations with just 14 points in 26 contests.

Report: Sean Avery was arrested last week

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From the Southampton Press:

Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.

According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.

Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.

As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”

He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.

Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?

H/t Gawker

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told NJ.com. “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.