In the wake of Evander Kane’s “Tracksuit-gate”, the rumor mill has blown up over his future with the Jets and possible trade destinations. Read on for the latest.
WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen speculates Evander Kane’s recent run-in with his teammates could spell the end of his time with the club, especially if he refused to play in a recent game against the Vancouver Canucks as a result. Kane was held out of yesterday’s practice to consult with team doctors and was placed on injured reserve backdated to Feb. 2. A league executive told Friesen the incident doesn’t help Kane’s trade value, while another wonders if Kane could simply “pull the chute on the season” by opting for surgery.
THE SPORTING NEWS: Ben Valentine believes placing Kane on IR could be Jets management trying to buy time in hopes of defusing this situation. Failing that, they can then begin fielding trade offers to gauge Kane’s value. His annual cap hit of $5.25 million through 2017-18 could prove difficult to move, especially given concerns about next season’s salary-cap numbers. Valentine suggest waiting until the offseason to move Kane might be the better way to go.
TSN: Bob McKenzie weighed in on the Kane story, noting the winger has been playing through an injury which could require off-season surgery. It now remains to be seen if the Jets will try to trade Kane at the March 2 deadline or the off-season, what impact his injury could have on trade talks and if the Jets can get fair value for him. Darren Dreger lists several clubs who could have interest in Kane, including the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks and Montreal Canadiens. McKenzie doesn’t see Kane as a fit with the Toronto Maple Leafs, noting they have sufficient depth at left wing. He’s certain Kane will be traded but feels it’s more likely to happen in the summer.
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance and Scott Burnside discuss Kane’s trade value. Custance suggests Kane has the potential to be similar to Tyler Seguin for a team that trades for him. Burnside suggests moving him in the offseason makes more sense as the Jets will get a better return. He also feels Kane has a lot of growing up to do. He notes the Philadelphia Flyers were believed interested at one point and wonders if the Pittsburgh Penguins might take a look. Custance believes Kane’s injury status will be a wild card.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty believes the Boston Bruins should take a pass on Evander Kane, noting they lack sufficient cap space to take on his $5.25 million annual cap hit , questionable behavior and the fact he’s yet to play up to expectations.
THE PROVINCE: Jason Botchford acknowledges the struggling Vancouver Canucks could use a scoring winger like Kane, but believes the Canucks know enough about Kane that he is “a bad seed who will likely never change.”
NJ.COM: Rich Chere wonders if Devils GM Lou Lamoriello will be willing to take a chance on Kane.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A Kane trade before the deadline depends on his injury, which is believed to be one of his shoulders. If he opts for surgery now, no trade takes place until this summer. Even then, it’s still possible for Jets management to calm the waters and return with him next season.
GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has the patience of a saint, but I think he’s finally reaching his limit with Kane. If Kane foregoes surgery and can play out the season, however, I doubt the Jets get fair value for him because he’s still playing hurt and it is obviously affecting his production. Still, if they can’t smooth things over with Kane and his teammates, it could prove divisive in the dressing room and threaten the Jets playoff hopes. We’ll hopefully know more in the next few days, as Kane is eligible to come off IR on Feb. 10.
As for possible destinations, he’s definitely not going to the Leafs for the reasons McKenzie stated. I don’t see him as a good fit in the Montreal media fishbowl. He might play better in his hometown of Vancouver but I don’t think he fits into what Canucks president Trevor Linden and GM Jim Benning are trying to build. The Bruins need help on right wing and Kane’s a left winger. The Flyers need skilled defensive depth, not another scoring forward. I certainly don’t see Kane as a good fit with any team managed by Lou Lamoriello.
I think he’d be a great fit with the Penguins alongside Sidney Crosby. However, the Penguins have limited cap space and I don’t see them adding another high-salaried player. The Ducks are reportedly considering loading up for a Cup run this season. Kane might fit in well there but of course the injury concerns this season could dampen interest.