Panic Trading Evander Kane Would Be Hilariously Asinine

Evander Kane is holding a lot of money. But he’s also quite money, himself.

On Wednesday morning, Evander Kane took a picture of himself holding what Chemmy from Pension Plan Puppets deduced to be $225,800. For some reason, this incident caused quite the outrage in both Winnipeg, and the Twittersphere. 

On Thursday morning, Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press wrote an article in which he adamantly declared that Evander Kane would be not playing out the full length of his recently signed 6-year contract in Winnipeg. Rather than responding to this instantly, I took some time to stop hysterically laughing, and compose myself, before I started banging away at my keyboard.  

If the Winnipeg Jets were to panic trade Evander Kane due to his perceived immaturity and shenanigans, I’m not sure if all the time in the world would be enough to get me to stop laughing, though. 

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Read Past the Jump for More.

I’m responding to Lawless’ article because his voice holds credence with me. He is in-tune with the entire situation, and I have no doubts that he has something concrete; at least something concrete enough for him to write an article like the one I’m referring to (and have linked above).

Parting with Evander Kane – for less than 100 cents on the dollar, which is what I’m assuming they’d receive in return in a trade at this point – would be something that the Winnipeg Jets organization would come to regret for years upon years. For the most part, I’ve been onboard with what GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has done thus far. But this could be a potentially fireable offence.

In his first three seasons in the NHL, Kane has bulged the twine 63 times, including a 30-goal campaign this past season. For a frame of reference, 62 players in NHL history have put together a 30-goal season before the age of 21. On that list, players still currently active are: Ovechkin, Stamkos, Crosby, Kovalchuk, Malkin, Jagr, Toews, Kopitar, Rick Nash, Ryan Smyth, Jason Arnott, Marian Gaborik, Jeff Skinner, and Evander Kane. That’s it. I’ve heard of those guys.

Even last season, a grand total of 30 players ecclipsed the 30-goal plateau. Goals are harder to come by, and Evander Kane specializes in scoring goals. There’s immense value in that, despite what you may think to be flaws in his character.

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In October, Rob Vollman used his VUKOTA system to do projections for the 2012-13 campaign for Jets forwards. In Kane’s case, he noted that his "first three seasons bare an uncanny resemblance to fellow shot-taking, hard-hitting power forward Corey Perry." He went on to peg him for 30 goals, and 70 points. Obviously those particular numbers were deemed irrelevant with the lockout stretching well into the winter, but the point was made.

He shoots a ton. He fights. And he’s as exciting as it gets. He’s a player that you can sell to your fans as a franchise player; someone that you will build around for years to come. He’s also on a team-friendly contract ($5.25 million cap hit) until 2018. 

It’s worth noting that I tweeted a joke about the Jets panic trading Kane on Twitter, and the response that came was a handful of Canucks fans quickly jumping at the opportunity to voice their dreams about Kane becoming a Canuck. I’m quite sure that fans of the other 28 teams feel the same way, as well. "Man, if only we could get our hands on that guy!" 

Don’t be upset though, Jets fans. At least your team will give Ondrej Pavelec $19.5 million over the next five years.

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Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make. And if you’re a Jets fan, that’s never rang truer.

  • Robert Cleave

    Thanks for saving me the trouble of writing pretty much the same thing after I got home from work, Dimitri. This whole kerfuffle over a young guy tweeting an intentionally silly picture is the ultimate example of a tempest in a teapot.

    Thankfully, only the truly dim (like the lead columnist at the local broadsheet) would run a guy off on that basis, and for whatever I might think about the Jets’ management from time to time, they only appear to do really dumb things when it comes to overpaying awful goalies.

  • I couldn’t agree more, Dimitri. But there’s a certain group of people in Winnipeg who have been looking for a reason to push him out of town basically from the get-go. Unfortunately, that group doesn’t listen to a.) reason, b.) statistics, nor c.) the ridiculousness of its own arguments.

    • Dimitri Filipovic

      As someone who will be covering the Winnipeg Jets once hockey comes back, this entire situation makes me some laugh and sob with equal proportion.

  • Dimitri Filipovic

    Good take Dimitri. I mostly agree, but if the bit in the Lawless article about him taking his girlfriend on the road is true then I can see why the Jets management isn’t entirely sold on him as a franchise player. I don’t know what the answer is for that particular problem, as the Jets don’t have as much of an established leadership group as some teams do. Maybe have former Jets greats or people he respects talk to him about it?

    He’s still a very young player who has learning and maturing to do. Let him do it before running him out of town.

  • Old Soldier

    How many times have we seen this in hockey….the old story of a talented young player with his head in his ass. Do you keep the talent with the possibility of poisoning a dressing room or fan base (the biggest factor to me in all the “rumours” is the one that he ignores teammates advice), or let him become someone elses problem for less than face value.

    Its a tough call, especially for a team that is offensively challenged. If the Jets had multiple options in the top 6 then I think an owner like Chipman, very conservative, very much community orientated, would love nothing more than to ditch a “possible” troublemaker like Kane.

    Stuff like taking his girlfriend on road trips and such, seems petty on the surface, but the issue is, if the team has rules, written or otherwise, when a young player sees himself above them, how do you enforce those same rules with others? This is how a player like Kane can become devisive.

    Also, another factor, if you believe that the kid truly has an attitude issue and you do want to move him, how long do you wait? As each issue arrises, the number of trade partners lessons and lessons. Right now certain teams would be definitely willing to grab the kid (Leafs spring to mind), but that will change with each and every story, true or not.