It would seem that Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane will not be traded before the deadline as he’s opted to undergo a surgical procedure to fix his injured shoulder instead, the club announced Friday:
Coach Maurice announces Kane needs surgery on his shoulder. The usual timeline for recovery is 4-6 months.
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) February 6, 2015
Kane had been playing through a variety of ailments of late, and the injured shoulder in particular was likely to require surgery following the season, according to Winnipeg Free Press reporter Gary Lawless.
Read on for more.
Of course, opting for surgery now – rather than agreeing to be traded, or playing through injury – was characterized by Lawless earlier this week as an indication that Kane was simply fed up with the organization:
Kane has been playing with this injury for much of this season and could force the decision to have it repaired. If Kane or the Jets announce in the coming days he’s going under the knife, it will be evident the player and team are at odds. Surgery has been an option Kane has elected to forego to this point. He’s played with pain and been effective. Up until now, the expectation was he would conclude the season and have this ailment taken care of in the off-season.
But Kane is well within his rights to say he wants things fixed and he wants them fixed now. If that’s the news which breaks in the coming days, we’ll know Kane has lost his appetite to do all he can for king and country.
Certainly going under the knife is the best way for Kane to stick it to the club.
Now, as a result of the the players’ misguided disciplinary prank on Kane earlier this week, the club is going to be without a key penalty-killer, and a winger who logs more even-strength minutes on a per game basis than anyone else on the club. Also a player who scores at a first-line rate at 5-on-5.
Obviously with Kane going under the knife, the Jets will also be unable to move him for any help before the deadline (though they will pick up some additional cap space to play with once Kane hits LTIR). So not only did the Jets just lose a key contributor, but they lost a very valuable trade asset – at least for this season, and presumably beyond.
For a club already searching for forward depth on the trade market, this is a pretty significant on-ice loss. After all, the Jets’ ninth most used forward at even-strength (T.J. Galiardi) is a “can pass through waivers multiple times per season” piece, and he’s logging fewer than eight minutes per game at 5-on-5.
Without Kane the Jets will now have both Galiardi and Thorburn in their top-nine, or maybe they’ll move their single most valuable on-ice piece (Dustin Byfuglien) to a position at which he’s far less effective.
So, yeah, Kane opting for surgery is very nearly a worse case scenario for the Jets. At least it buys Kevin Cheveldayoff the ability to exceed the salary cap by the value of Kane’s contract, and also some time. Moving Kane in the offseason, when other teams have a bit more flexibility and aren’t quite so concerned about his health status, might work out for the Jets long-term.
In the short-term though… Welp!