NOVEMBER 29, 2017 | 10:59am ET



Evander Kane, left wing


A trade is not yet imminent, and may not be for several weeks, but the Buffalo Sabres appear to be at a point in the season where they are prepared to get serious about moving left wing Evander Kane.

Kane, 26, is in the final-year of his contract, which comes with a $5.25 million salary cap hit, and can become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Sabres GM Jason Botterill is going to want to maximize his return on Kane and will be patient as he speaks with other clubs about possible packages.

During Tuesday night's "Insider Trading" segment on TSN, TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reported the Sabres are "willing to eat" some of Kane's remaining salary, which could both help facilitate a trade and maximize the return for Buffalo.

LeBrun also noted that a trade is probably 6-7 weeks away from happening, but talks will most certainly escalate as the season goes on.

The Sabres, last in the Eastern Conference and tied with the Arizona Coyotes for last in the entire NHL, though Buffalo has two games in hand of the Coyotes, may be at the point where they start focusing on next season and retooling parts of their roster, with Kane potentially being the first to go. 

Kane, who leads the Sabres in goals (12) and points (23), has been linked to the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals.

Sabres forwards Matt Moulson, Sam Reinhart and Benoit Pouliot, defenseman Josh Gorges, and the team's two goalies, Robin Lehner and Chad Johnson, have also been the subject of trade speculation so far this season, and trade discussions involving any of them could also pick up in the coming weeks.