Since the end of the 2012-13 regular season, seven weeks ago, Evander Kane has been enjoying some rest and relaxation in Vancouver, BC, where he spends most of the off-season.
“Since the season ended I’ve pretty much just been resting and letting the body recover from the strenuous half season that we just had,” Kane told JetsTV Thursday at the MTS Centre. “I was a little banged up towards the end of the year, so doctors orders were to rest up and hopefully I’ll be able to get back training again soon.”
Kane arrived in Winnipeg on Wednesday to undergo surgery on his lower leg and ankle. The surgery was successful and a full-recovery is expected.
“I have to let it rest for three or four weeks then hopefully get back on the ice soon so that I can stop feeling like a house hockey player and be the player that I know I can be,” he said with a grin.
“Fortunately I’ll be able to workout off the ice in terms of some upper body stuff, but I won’t be able to do any lower body until three to four weeks from now. Hopefully by the time training camp rolls around, I’ll be 100 per cent.”
Kane returned from the beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands with his girlfriend two days earlier, where they enjoyed some vacation time before the surgery.
“We did a lot of things,” he began with a smile. “We went boating to see some of the islands around, went jet skiing, just hung around the beach and went for some nice walks. To be honest, I haven’t been on too many luxurious vacations like that in my life so it was definitely a nice place, it ranks up-there.”
Despite Kane’s “banged-up” status, he never missed a game last season. In 48 games, he finished third in team scoring with 17 goals and 33 points.
“For me individually I thought it was a pretty positive season. I thought I made some good strides in my game and there is definitely room for improvement. - Evander Kane
“For me individually I thought it was a pretty positive season,” he said. “I thought I made some good strides in my game and there is definitely room for improvement.
“As a team, I definitely wasn’t satisfied and was disappointed with how things finished. With it being a shortened season, it was a great opportunity for us to get into the playoffs but we weren’t able to do that. I know we can play better and we know we’re going to need to get better going into the West next year.”
Although he expressed his excitement about joining the Western Conference next season, he was also quick to note the new challenges and changes the Jets may face.
“The Western teams are usually bigger and heavier, and I think as a group, we’re going to have to be prepared to play a heavier game then we have in the past. To have a big physical presence will be key for us.”
When asked which team he feels the Jets will best match-up against within the new realignment, Kane was stumped.
“It’s funny, I don’t really know the West too well just because we don’t play them the way the NHL schedule is but it’ll be nice to go to Minnesota. They have a nice rink down there and places like Chicago and LA, those will be fun places to play in too.”
Looking toward next season, the 21-year-old expects nothing but improvement in his personal game and as a team. His competitiveness is well known and he strives for nothing shy of success.
“I want to continue to be a better player, I’ve said it year in and year out,” he said. “I’d rather back-up my words with my play. It’s going to be a full season this year so again, a little different than last year and with 82 games, I’m hoping to stay healthy.
“As a team, nothing is going to be acceptable unless we get to the playoffs. For me, I don’t look at just squeaking in eighth, you want to be in position to fight for home-ice advantage early in the season, get in the playoffs and stay in the playoffs until the end of the season.”