Latest on Evander Kane, Cody Franson and Matt Beleskey. Enjoy!
Kane on the outs with the Jets?
SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reports Winnipeg Jets winger Evander Kane failed to show for the club’s recent game against the Canucks in Vancouver following an incident with his teammates. While originally reported that Kane was a healthy scratch as a “coach’s decision”, sources claim he had a run-in with his teammates earlier in the day after joining them for a meeting wearing a track suit, a violation of the club’s dress code. Following a brief workout, teammate Dustin Byfuglien threw Kane’s clothes in the shower to send a message to the winger. Kane subsequently wasn’t on the team bus to Rogers Arena and missed a pregame meeting. The next time he was seen by his teammates was on the club’s charter flight back to Winnipeg. It’s also believed Kane has been playing through an injury, one which could require season-ending surgery.
Johnston subsequently tweets: “Surveyed some NHL scouts and feeling is that price on Evander Kane has dropped. One top asset could be enough to land him from
#NHLJets.” His colleague John Shannon tweets: “Jets announce Kane was meeting with team doctors…Told by Jets’ source “Still many moving parts. Nothing imminent.”
TSN’s Darren Dreger tweets: “Many questions around Evander Kane and the Jets. Some medical issues to be resolved, but teams are calling and Jets are listening…hard.” Colleague Pierre LeBrun adds: “Further to
@DarrenDreger‘s tweet, also hearing Jets taking calls on Evander Kane. Big name to have on trade market for sure.”
NBC SPORTS: Mike Halford reports Kane met today with team doctors and his status remains to be determined. Halford notes if Kane is seriously hurt it’ll throw cold water upon the trade rumors which have cropped up in the wake of his apparent fallout with his teammates.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Kane must undergo surgery, and it could be related to his knee injury earlier in the season, we can shut down the trade speculation until June, when it almost certainly will resurface with a vengeance. Regardless of whether the Jets make the playoffs or not, Kane could be a goner in the offseason. GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is patient to a fault but even this incident could be the last straw for him.
Beleskey on the block?
NBC SPORTS: Mike Halford cites a reports by Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos claiming the Anaheim Ducks aren’t even close to a deal with pending UFA forward Matt Beleskey, adding there’s talk the Ducks could move him. Beleskey has tallied a career-high 19 goals this season, second only to Corey Perry. He’s currently earning $1.35 million per season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Halford notes, the concern for the Ducks is they’ve got to look long term, as they’ve got a number of key players (Ryan Kesler, Sami Vatanen, Hampus Lindholm, Francois Beauchemin, Kyle Palmieri, Rickard Rickell, Devante Smith-Pelly, Jakub Silfverberg and Frederik Andersen) eligible for UFA or RFA status between now and 2016. If Beleskey seeks more than, say, $2.5 million per season, the Ducks could consider moving him. There are reports suggesting they could load up for a Cup run this spring by pursuing a top defenseman with a right-handed shot. Beleskey could become trade bait for such a player.
Where will Franson go?
SPORTSNET: Scott Lewis lists the Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks as possible trade destinations for Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Leafs, as rumor has it, are shopping players only to Western Conference clubs that will rule out the Red Wings. I suggest adding the Colorado Avalanche to that list.