Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jet couldn't find the net, fathom 'nyet'

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One day, maybe when he sits down to pen his autobiography, Evander Kane will go into great detail about his short-lived stint in the Kontinental Hockey League.

"Short-lived" being the key phrase here.

But for now the Winnipeg Jet winger seems to be taking the politically correct approach to life in the KHL.

Kane played in just 12 games for Dinamo Minsk this fall -- netting one goal, zero assists while finishing a minus-8 -- was suspended one game for a hit to the head and called out by his coach for being out of shape. Upon his exit a team official said he could not "adapt to hockey in the KHL."

Other than that, how was your trip, Evander?

"To be honest, I never planned to stay over there for a whole year," said Kane. "It was a month-to-month contract.

"It's a different league. It's quite opposite of how things work in North America and that's a big reason why a lot of European and Russian players come over to the NHL: It's the best league in the world and nobody disputes that.

"It was a good experience to see what happens over there and how it works. It didn't work out. You play six minutes a night and they want you to score three goals a game.

"But one of the positives were the fans there were great, probably the best in the entire league."

Asked how his Russian is, Kane was blunt:

"Terrible."

That said, he did hang out with former Jets teammate Tim Stapleton and two other locked-out NHLers who have hung their hat there: Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne and Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks.

As for the rest of his free time there...

"There were some long days in the hotel room," Kane said. "You can't watch TV. I don't think I even turned on my TV the entire time I was over there. I watched movies and downloaded shows for the laptop.

"It was good to have a couple other NHL guys on the team to relate to and have conversations with about what was going on back home.

"You know," Kane added, "it wasn't the most positive experience, but it was an experience for me. I'm glad I went and got to see how the league works. I don't have many complaints.

"But I am glad I'm back."

-- Ed Tait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 1, 2012 C1

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