BUFFALO -- Forward Evander Kane was formally introduced as a member of the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday and said he's ready to move on to this opportunity.
"It's definitely exciting to be here and meet the guys and see the city a little bit," Kane said at First Niagara Center. "The facility that they have here, it's pretty phenomenal. My excitement was definitely met since first coming here."
The Sabres acquired Kane on Feb. 11, with defenseman Zach Bogosian, from the Winnipeg Jets in a trade for defenseman Tyler Myers, forward Drew Stafford, forward prospects forwards Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux, and a first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Forward Evander Kane was formally introduced as a member of the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday and said he's ready to move on to this opportunity.
Kane played six seasons for Winnipeg. He was traded amid reports of discord with teammates and after season-ending surgery on a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
"Obviously it was a situation that was … unique and, I guess, fun for some people," Kane said. "But sometimes you need a fresh start. Like I said, I was playing hurt with a majority of injuries through the course of the season. It just took a toll. It was time to get surgery done.
"[It was] fun for the media, not fun for others. It's part of the business and not something that really bothers me too much."
Kane had surgery Feb. 7 with 4-6 months of recovery expected. His left arm was in a sling Saturday.
"The surgery was a little more complicated than they thought it was," Kane said. "There's a hole actually in my shoulder as well. But everything is fixed and good to go now. I'm looking forward to getting healthy again for sure."
Kane joins the Sabres in the middle of a rebuild, but one that will be accelerated by the addition of him, Bogosian, and a top pick in the 2015 draft. The Sabres (17-38-4) are last in the NHL with 38 points.
"No team wants to be in this position. No organization wants to be in this position," Kane said. "I think they're doing everything they can to turn it around. As players, you're not trying to finish in last place, you're not trying to lose hockey games. I think everybody has that hunger to get better."
The Sabres have forwards Tyler Ennis and Zemgus Girgensons, who have emerged as leaders up front, and defensemen Nikita Zadorov and Rasmus Ristolainen, who have earned spots as everyday NHL players. The Sabres also have forward Sam Reinhart, the second pick of the 2014 NHL Draft, and could wind up with either highly touted forward Connor McDavid or forward Jack Eichel this June.
"I think they're headed in the right direction," Kane said. "They have a lot of good, young prospects. Getting a top pick will obviously speed that up. I don't think they're going to be sitting around trying to wait years and years and years to rebuild this thing. I think they're trying to do it as soon as possible, and obviously when players get better, that also helps too. Hopefully we'll all get better."
Kane, 23, said he will rehabilitate his shoulder at home in Vancouver, stick to the plans laid out by his doctors, and be ready for training camp in September.
"Winnipeg is a very small town, but it's a big hockey market," Kane said. "It's a little tougher than Vancouver or Toronto where you maybe get away a little bit. It's a fishbowl. Being a Winnipeg Jet was something that everybody knew who you were and they always want to talk to you, which is great, and that was one of the things you definitely enjoy. But … negative things can take a toll a little bit.
"I'm happy to be a Buffalo Sabre and I'm looking forward to meeting the fans and all the people here."