On April 5, the Winnipeg Jets faced the Toronto Maple Leafs on Hockey Night In Canada. The game had no meaning to the Jets.
Meanwhile on the other side of the ice, this game was crucial to the Leafs during their fight for a playoff spot.
As the Jets hit the ice, they were missing someone. Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane was a healthy scratch. This comes just days after a report came out that Evander Kane was being hit with a lawsuit over an alleged assault.
This isn’t out of character for Kane, who has seen his fair share of off-ice incidents. Nevertheless, the scratch of Kane came as some sort of a surprise.
Earlier in the day, Coach Paul Maurice said the Leafs deserved to face the Jets best line-up. So when Evander Kane was not inserted in to the lineup, Maurice’s comments came as a surprise.
Despite Kane’s struggles, replacing him with Devin Setoguchi was an odd move.
When Paul Maurice was asked on how Kane could get back in to the Jets line-up his reply was “probably just come to the rink.”
Maurice could have been implying Kane’s effort is not up to par and he needs to work harder at practice. This is just another distraction caused by Kane.
The former 30 goal scorer has battled injuries this year and along with that Kane has struggled production wise. In 60 games, Kane has scored 39 points (17G &22A). Numbers that are not up to par for a player that will be paid $6 million dollars next year, making him the highest paid Jets player on the roster.
It’s evident that the relationship between the Jets and Kane is, at best, rocky. Since Evander Kane has set foot in to Winnipeg, fresh off the plane from his glamorous life in Atlanta, trade rumors have swirled around.
The return for a player that has scored 30 goals showed that he is one of the fastest players in the NHL and that he plays a good hard physical game – all at the age of 22 – will attract numerous teams.
The problem is, the value for Kane has declined this year.
In the summer there were talks of big deals in place for Kane, but with his poor play and more off ice distractions, teams could shy away from the former 30-goal scorer.
Kane doesn’t fit in Winnipeg.
Being under the spotlight in a small city like Winnipeg is a hard thing to manage when you’re that young and want to enjoy the life in the show off the ice. The value for Kane might not be the same as it was the last two years, but if the Jets pull the trigger on a deal early in the off-season they could cash in on a return that would benefit the Jets in the future.
The problem is, not just in hockey but in professional sports as a whole, teams look at someone’s character and judgement and a lot of the time, ones work ethic.
Kane has proven that he is more driven to have success for himself rather than helping the team win games.
His selfish play on the ice doesn’t go unnoticed.
Something I have noticed that I find odd is that often players wear team hats, shirts or any merchandise with the team logo. You often can find him wearing his own set of merchandise and wearing his self-proclaimed nickname “The Natural”.
Teams want someone who is all in and is prepared to buy in to the team’s system.
That player is not Kane and that is why some teams could shy away from packaging a big offer for the speedy forward.
The Jets should trade Kane as soon as they get a good offer. It’s time to follow Chevy’s plan and draft and develop.
Acquiring picks and prospects in return is the way to do that.
Maybe people have judged Evander Kane too fast.
What if the Jets trade Kane and then he breaks out and scores 40 goals?
The consequences of trading Kane are real. Kane has loads of potential and that’s why the Thrashers drafted him fourth overall in 2009. The former Vancouver Giant has shown at every level he can put the puck in the net and goal scoring is hard to find in the NHL.
The Jets have made their fair share of bad trades and trading away Evander Kane could turn out to be a big mistake.
Before Kane’s hand injury prior to the Olympic break, he had found chemistry with Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele.
The line had the perfect balance of speed, size and skill and proved to be a deadly line.
For those reasons the Jets could be reluctant to trade Kane.
The talk of Evander Kane being elite and people saying the Jets have not found him line mates to play with bothers me.
If he is an elite player, he should be able to produce with whomever he plays with. In retrospect, Evander Kane is not elite and he has had ample opportunity to produce and has played with almost everybody on the roster.
As you can see above, my reasoning for why he should be traded is much longer than my reasoning as to why he shouldn’t be traded.
Kane is not suited to play in a big market – especially in Canada.
When you’re 22 years old it could be hard sometimes to have fun without the whole city knowing. News travels fast – Kane has taken it to the next level and his off ice charades must come to an end.
Maybe a team like Florida, Phoenix or Dallas would take an interest in Kane and trade for him.
A quiet hockey market that would suit Kane well.
One thing is for sure, the relationship between the Jets and Kane doesn’t seem to be getting better and it’s best that he goes.
Do you think the Jets should trade Evander Kane?
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