Jets GM Cheveldayoff downplays Evander Kane trade rumors, plus the latest on Ryan O’Reilly, Vincent Lecavalier and Cody Franson. 

Will Evander Kane start the season with the Jets?

Will Evander Kane start the season with the Jets?

WINNIPEG SUN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff continues to downplay the trade rumors swirling around Jets winger Evander Kane, particularly his recent response to a question on his future during a radio interview in which he said he was a Jet “for now”.

What I took from his comments, is he’s excited about being healthy and training this summer and really looking forward to having a solid summer of training. He had some minor surgery last year that derailed some of the training side of things.”

SPORTNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Jets realize they need to trade Kane but acknowledged the difficulty of finding the right deal, calling it “an easy trade to lose”. He believes Kane will start the season with the Jets…Friedman also noted the Philadelphia Flyers efforts to trade Vincent Lecavalier, claiming they’re not about to give him away. He points out Lecavalier tallied 20 goals in 69 games last season…He believes the Toronto Maple Leafs and Cody Franson could eventually part ways, suggesting the Calgary Flames as a possible destination…Friedman wouldn’t be surprised if the Pittsburgh Penguins re-sign Christian Ehrhoff after January 1 to  a new contract. Ehrhoff signed a one-year deal with the Penguins earlier this month.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Friedman suggests, the Jets probably haven’t dealt Kane yet because they haven’t received a suitable offer. While questions about Kane’s future will hang over the club to start the season, they simply cannot make a trade just for the sake of moving him. It’s also possible an improved performance by the Jets next season could lessen the necessity of moving Kane…The Flyers have little choice but to give away Lecavalier to shed the remainder of that contract and his annual $4.5 million cap hit. Problem is, no one wants to take that contract off their hands. Yes, he scored 20 goals last season, but he’s also 34 with a lengthy injury history whose production has declined in recent years. Perhaps if it weren’t for that expensive contract, there might be more interest in Lecavalier…Franson doesn’t seem to have a future with the Leafs, but management doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to move him. They’ll likely evaluate his performance next season before deciding if his future is in Toronto or elsewhere. 

DENVER POST: Adrian Dater believes if Ryan O’Reilly ends up receiving a two-year contract via arbitration the Colorado Avalanche will keep him only so long as they don’t get a great trade offer for him. Dater feels they’ll have to trade O’Reilly within two years if they know they can’t sign him. He also believes we could see a trade of O’Reilly “at any moment”, believing the Avs must act soon to get the best return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The earliest they can trade O’Reilly is after he receives an arbiter-awarded contract later this summer. It remains to be seen if they go that route so soon, but you can bet if this situation ends up before an arbiter it could spice up this summer’s trade rumor mill.