Jason Brough

Winnipeg Jets v Pittsburgh Penguins

Kane admits he ‘asked for a trade every offseason in Winnipeg’

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Remember all the times Evander Kane was asked if he was happy being a Winnipeg Jet and he never really answered the question?

That’s because he wasn’t happy being a Winnipeg Jet.

“Yeah, I asked for a trade every offseason in Winnipeg,” Kane told The Hockey News. 

From a THN blog post:

Despite both Kane and the Jets insisting there had been no trade requests in the off-season, Kane claims he asked for a trade as early as the summer of 2012 when he was coming off a 30-goal season. He asked again in the summer of 2013 and ’14, a request that was finally granted when he was dealt to the Sabres last February in a blockbuster trade that saw Zach Bogosian join him in Buffalo in exchange for Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, two prospects and a first-round draft pick.

The Winnipeg Free Press has more details from the interview, in which Kane says race plays a role in how he’s perceived.

Kane is currently out 4-6 weeks with an MCL injury, but should be ready in time for the Sabres’ game in Winnipeg on Jan. 10.

Don’t expect him to receive a warm welcome from the Jets’ faithful.

Gudbranson has been ‘outstanding’ for Panthers, says Gallant

Erik Gudbranson, Sidney Crosby
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With 253 games of NHL experience, it’s easy to forget that Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson is still only 23 years old.

The third overall pick of the 2010 draft — right after Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin, and right before Ryan Johansen and Nino Niederreiter — Gudbranson has taken a while to find his footing in the NHL.

Par for the course for a defenseman.

But Florida coach Gerard Gallant — who’s paired Gudbranson with veteran Willie Mitchell in a shutdown role — definitely likes what he’s been seeing this season.

“I think Gudbranson has been outstanding this year, really has played well,” Gallant told the Miami Herald. “I think he has been great, is happy with his role playing against the best players. He’s a fifth-year player. You look at him as a veteran player who is playing very well.”

Gubranson is a pending restricted free agent. He signed a two-year, $5 million extension in the summer of 2014.

The Panthers will need him — along with Aaron Ekblad, Dmitry Kulikov, and Alex Petrovic — to keep getting even better, as both Mitchell, 38, and Brian Campbell, 36, are nearing the ends of their careers.

Related: Gudbranson could be captain of the Panthers one day

Cameron forecasts a ‘storm’ if Sens ‘don’t fix our game’

Dave Cameron
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Dave Cameron doesn’t like the forecast for his Ottawa Senators.

“Right now I feel like the weatherman,” the coach told reporters today, per TSN’s Brent Wallace. “When you got something planned and you turn on the TV and the weatherman is all talking about how sunny it is, everybody is happy, they listen, they turn it up. When the weatherman forecasts there’s a storm on the horizon, they change the channel.

“Well, if we don’t fix our game, a storm is coming.”

That storm may actually have already arrived, based on the Sens’ four-game winless streak. On Saturday, they lost 4-1 at home to Arizona. They’ve allowed 11 goals in their last three games combined, all at home.

“It wears on you. Fans come and they pay their money and they want to see wins and not 4-1 losses,” forward Bobby Ryan told the Associated Press. “You can’t stay in the hunt losing points at home, especially when you’re on a homestand and you haven’t found a way to get anything out of it.”

The Sens (3-3-2) host Calgary Wednesday then travel to Detroit for a game Friday.

Goalie nods: It’s Ortio time for Calgary

Joni Ortio
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Karri Ramo was waived and sent to the AHL.

Jonas Hiller had another tough outing Sunday in Manhattan, his save percentage falling to just .872.

And so, finally, Joni Ortio will get the start for the Calgary Flames, who take on the Islanders in Brooklyn tonight.

“I’ve been waiting for quite some time now and just trying to be ready when I got the call and now it’s finally here,” Ortio told reporters. 

The Flames began the season with three goalies, not wanting to send Ortio to the AHL and risk losing the promising 24-year-old to waivers.

Ortio got a warm-up of sorts in the 4-1 loss to the Rangers, replacing Hiller in the third period and stopping all five shots he faced.

Ortio has appeared in 16 NHL games and has a career save percentage of .900.

Jaroslav Halak will be in goal for the Isles.

Elsewhere…

Mike Smith for the Coyotes versus James Reimer for the Leafs, whose goaltending has really let them down this season. Reimer has an .890 save percentage, while Jonathan Bernier‘s is only marginally better at .902.

Frederik Andersen, who’s been far from the problem for Anaheim, versus Corey Crawford in Chicago.

Boudreau wants the Ducks to realize ‘how great’ their lives are

Bruce Boudreau
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Bruce Boudreau was channeling Annie today as his struggling Anaheim Ducks prepared to face the Blackhawks tonight at United Center.

“Every day’s a new day,” Boudreau said, per the Sun-Times. “The sun’s still coming up even if it is in Chicago in October/early November. You look for the positives in everything, and you’re not sitting around being gloomy. Today, I talked to them about how great it is to be a hockey player. We’re so lucky, so blessed to do this job that we love, rather than doing things that are forced upon you. And we have to play with that. We have to play with that enthusiasm.”

No word if Boudreau has ever “seen a bunch of guys look so [expletive] down when something bad happens,” but the Ducks sure didn’t look too cheerful Saturday in Minnesota, where they were shut out for the fourth time season.

Related: Ducks need way more from Corey Perry