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Evander Kane hoping for fresh start with Edmonton Oilers

Click to play video: 'Evander Kane wants to add to Oilers organization in positive way: ‘You live and you learn’' Evander Kane wants to add to Oilers organization in positive way: ‘You live and you learn’
WATCH ABOVE: Newly signed Edmonton Oiler Evander Kane says he's not perfect and he's learned from his past experiences. Kane adds he views himself as a leader and is an experienced player coming in to the Oilers organization. – Jan 28, 2022

While answering a lot of serious questions about his character and career, new Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane tried to inject a little humour into his introductory news conference Friday morning.

“I ultimately chose the Oilers just because of the weather,” quipped Kane, who is expected to play Saturday night against the Montreal Canadiens.

Kane, 30, had his contract terminated by the San Jose Sharks three weeks ago, making him an unrestricted free agent. On Thursday, the NHL cleared him of any wrong doing after an investigation into into COVID-19 protocol violations while with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda in December.

Read more: Edmonton Oilers snare shootout win against Predators

Controversy has followed Kane for much of his career, including the lingering reputation of being a bad teammate.

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“I understand the narrative. It’s easy to look at me just because the storylines have always been I’ve been the disruptive one,” said Kane. “To say that everybody in the locker room I didn’t go along with, that would be just incredibly false. It’s less than a handful of guys.”

Click to play video: 'Evander Kane ‘takes responsibility’ for things he’s done in the past' Evander Kane ‘takes responsibility’ for things he’s done in the past
Evander Kane ‘takes responsibility’ for things he’s done in the past – Jan 28, 2022

Kane was suspended for the first 21 games of the season for violating the NHL/NHLPA COVID protocols. He has said he was vaccinated before training camp. In recent month, Kane’s estranged wife has accused him of abuse of gambling on games he played in. After an investigation, the NHL found no evidence to support the allegations. Kane has admitted to having a gambling problem in the past.

Read more: Evander Kane coming to Edmonton Oilers

“There are certain things that have happened, the majority of them outside of hockey, that obviously have been well documented, whether they’re accurate or inaccurate,” Kane explained. “I take responsibility for things I’ve done wrong. I’m definitely not going to take any responsibility for things I haven’t done.”

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“I’ve done my due diligence. I’ve talked to a lot of people,” said Oilers general manager Ken Holland, who spent over two hours with Kane Monday night in Vancouver.

“I left that dinner feeling that Evander would be a real positive addition to our hockey team. Evander is 30. He’s been through a lot of experiences in his life. I believe there’s another opportunity here that can be a positive experience for all of us.”

Click to play video: 'Edmonton Oilers GM message to fans on Evander Kane signing: ‘I’ve done my due diligence’' Edmonton Oilers GM message to fans on Evander Kane signing: ‘I’ve done my due diligence’
Edmonton Oilers GM message to fans on Evander Kane signing: ‘I’ve done my due diligence’ – Jan 28, 2022

Kane is one of the top power forwards in the NHL. He has six seasons of 20-or-more goals and five season of 80-or-more penalty minutes.

“We’ll just kind of work with each other and see where the best fit is,” said head coach Dave Tippett, when asked about Kane’s spot in the lineup.

The Oilers and Canadiens will be on 630 CHED on Saturday with the Face-off Show at 3:30 p.m. The game will start at 5 p.m.

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