When healthy and at his best, there is no doubt Evander Kane is a difference maker on the ice.
He gets paid to be one. Fans pay hundreds of dollars to watch and enjoy Kane and their team battle for 82 games a year.
But with that success, comes the baggage of a 24-year old millionaire. His luxurious and posh lifestyle is well documented.
His social media accounts are full of pictures of a kid with millions at his disposal and the world seemingly in his hands. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy the spoils of life?
Everyone matures at a different rate. But, at some point, it is time to grow up.
Sunday was not the first time Kane has flown to a sporting event – but it is the first time he’s failed to show up for his job the next day, which is a problem.
Kane is paying a price for his immaturity and putting himself before the organization and his teammates.
Hockey is his livelihood. Now, for one game, that’s been taken away from him.
He sounded contrite and remorseful when addressing reporters about his activities north of the border over the weekend. But, eventually, the off-ice exploits begin to break the bond built in a locker room and the individual success on the ice no longer outweigh distractions brought in off the ice and to an organization.
This is his second incident in two months and now he has some questioning whether he’s worth keeping around.
While the fans see his name on the back of a jersey, ask for his autograph and celebrate his success, Kane is not bigger than the crest on his chest.
The Sabres are young and impressionable. But I believe the veteran leaders in the locker room will make sure Kane gets his act together and the unit remains bonded.
Hopefully, as he said, the events of the weekend won’t happen again and he’ll clean up his act.
It is cliché, but actions do speak louder than words. He let an organization down, his teammates down and you, the fans down. He’ll have to earn back that trust and respect.
The Sabres gave up a lot to bring Kane to the Queen City. It’s time for Kane to prove his worth.
Then, we’ll know sooner rather than later, whether he’s worth keeping around.