The relationship between Evander Kane and the Winnipeg Jets is eroding quickly, and it seems like we’ll see some movement one way or another this week.
The 23-year-old power forward has skill to burn, but he’s playing hurt, and has obviously been in Paul Maurice’s cross hairs over wearing sweat pants to a team meeting (or something). It would appear that surgery is an option for the skilled, young winger – who wasn’t present for Winnipeg’s practice on Thursday – but it’s interesting to note that Kane is reportedly being made available on the trade market also.
There are a myriad of reports regarding Kane’s future out there in the ether at the moment, so let’s get into it.
The first is from TSN’s Darren Dreger, who in showman-like fashion suggests that the Jets are “listening hard” to offers from teams interested in acquiring Kane:
Many questions around Evander Kane and the Jets. Some medical issues to be resolved, but teams are calling and Jets are listening…hard.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 5, 2015
That report has been confirmed and added to by ESPN and TSN’s Pierre LeBrun:
Further to @DarrenDreger‘s tweet, also hearing Jets taking calls on Evander Kane. Big name to have on trade market for sure.
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) February 5, 2015
Meanwhile TVA’s Renaud Lavoie is skeptical about the official track suit reasoning behind Kane being a healthy scratch on Tuesday night in Vancouver:
The official reason why Evander Kane was a healthy scratch on Tuesday is the tip of the iceberg according to sources. interesting day in WPG
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) February 5, 2015
Well, yeah, the sweat pants story is about as convincing as Claude Noel: NHL bench boss.
If the Jets are trading Kane it’s going to be a difficult deal to win. Kane generates shots and goals at a first-line rate, isn’t in his offensive prime yet, and provides the type of high-end physical package – in terms of both his hitting and martial game – that’s prized for its relative rarity around the hockey world.
Despite Kane’s highly desirable skill set, the rumours of his immaturity will surely serve to inhibit his value on the trade market. Ditto his nagging lower-body injury, which will reportedly require surgery at some point.
The Jets also have a general manager in Kevin Cheveldayoff who has pretty much never traded an NHL roster player, so he’s something of an unknown quantity here. Generally speaking you’d prefer not to have a relatively inexperienced guy pulling the trigger on a very complicated deal involving a young asset who is rapidly depreciating.
Stay tuned. This mess could get even deeper before its cleaned up.