Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 06/18/2014 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 06/18/2014 7:13 AM | Updates
Will the Winnipeg Jets trade Evander Kane this summer?
It may be the most asked question around the Jets, but the best answer is no one, including GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, can predict what offers may show up in Philadelphia at the draft next week.
For some, trading Kane might be out of the question, but when a team misses the playoffs for seven straight seasons it must consider change. Kane, because of his potential marketability, is a popular target for such discussion.
What's a 22-year-old power forward who scored 30 goals two seasons ago worth in today's market? More than Cheveldayoff is likely to be offered unless he's willing to do a deal for futures, and the Jets have to be thinking more about the now than ever before. Making a trade including Kane is unlikely.
Do the Jets want to trade Kane? That's a different question, and the answer seems to be no.
Management believes Kane has yet to reach his full potential and wouldn't want to watch him score 40 or more goals in a different uniform.
What does it matter if he scores 40 somewhere else if he's not going to do it with the Jets? This statement presumes the Jets will never find the right centre to play with Kane and provide him the fit he needs to succeed. Maybe a season with Mark Scheifele in the middle and Blake Wheeler on the right side is in order before reaching such a conclusion.
Cheveldayoff won't be making a move just for the sake of saying he's conducted a trade. On the surface, at least, he seems impervious to the braying of outsiders. The "Buy out Ondrej Pavelec" screeching may or may not have reached his ears, but Tuesday the Jets were asked if they'd be exercising their compliance buyout options and simply responded with a no.
Scoring is the hardest thing to do or acquire in hockey. The Jets would need to have an abundance of scoring to comfortably use Kane as a trading chip. They don't have that. So they have to get scoring in return. It's unlikely a trading partner is going to offer the Jets a legitimate 30-goal man as part of a package.
Being hard on Kane is a repeated theme in this space. Looking back with the benefit of time, what are Kane's crimes? The off-ice stuff has been at times juvenile and not my taste, but who is the arbiter of such things?
The one thing that stands out as troublesome is his treatment of head coach Claude Noel last season. Noel was on a thin branch, Kane knew this, and he went ahead and challenged the coach's authority in the media over a healthy scratch. It was the end of Noel as head coach of the Jets and, regardless of your view of the man as a coach, he didn't deserve Kane's mutiny.
But just like Winnipeg hockey observers can grow and become a little more nonplussed over the affairs of Evander, so can the player. When Paul Maurice made him a healthy scratch last spring for being late to a team function, Kane took it like a man.
A 22-year-old with no playoff games and one season in five with more than 20 goals should be focused on his end of the deal and not decisions made by the coach. Maybe Kane has figured this out or Maurice's pedigree makes it clear messing with the boss is a no-win.
Kane is both precocious and brash. For some, that's been hard to accept. There's not enough of a track record to go along with some of the entitlement. So what? A middle-aged sportswriter not always buying Kane's act doesn't factor for even a second into the thoughts of Cheveldayoff.
The bottom line on trading Kane, or any member of Cheveldayoff's team, has to be about benefitting the organization. Cheveldayoff isn't going to be offered a roster player of equal value. Teams are going to try to pry Kane away from Winnipeg with packages of picks and prospects.
For a fan base already screaming about the here and now, making a deal for tomorrow would be untenable.
The other side of the equation is maybe we've seen the best of Kane and he's never going to be a consistent 30-goal guy. Under that premise, trading Kane now would seem to be the right move if the return is strong. There's little evidence, however, to suggest Kane won't continue to improve and become a better and more valuable player.
Kane is flawed in that he doesn't see the ice very well and his goal production to date has been inconsistent. He might argue the same can be said of his linemates, and it's true Kane has been forced to play with a bit of a dog's breakfast during his three seasons in Winnipeg. He's also been an infrequent member of the No. 1 power-play unit. If Kane is to grow he needs both more opportunity and higher-quality opportunity.
Moving Kane would be premature. It's time to find out precisely what he is as a player and how far he can grow. Install him as the left wing on the top line.
Cheveldayoff will want to see if Kane can soar with these Jets before booking him on another flight out of town.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 18, 2014 D1
Updated on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 7:13 AM CDT: Adds missing word
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Get lie off your chest to ease inner turmoil
Interpretation of law yields comic results
Interpretation of law yields comic results
Marine repair business that runs out of owner's cottage at odds with Manitoba Conservation
A local artist has been painting portraits of indigenous people who died tragically
The final countdown: Here's how the Jets' charge for a playoff spot shakes down
Doc tough to watch, but not to be missed
Banning antibiotics what consumers want
Here's your weekend weather in Winnipeg
Bombing Yemen likely to backfire
Transcona-raised pro wrestler Kenny Omega is literally big in Japan
Murder revelations in The Jinx leave us fascinated, queasy
The vacation bucket list
Trending that caught Doug's eye... Late night legends
Potential slave dodges awkward bedroom adventure
Free Press to roll out affordable, user-driven access to news
Jets still gaining altitude
A penchant to self-destruct in full view
Matter of (their) opinion
No one talks tough on sewage
Don't you all have an imaginary friend?
Tax change helps families with children under 18
Shortchanging special needs
Is our democracy on crutches?
Wife overreacting to tipping back brown cows
Police hide in cone of silence
City's rail lines the real problem
Verdict after Gladue's death sends painful message about whose lives are valued
Outside the gallery, artists need to watch where they're going
Andy Kindler: something old, something new...
This is crunch time
Price has it right
Winnipeg actor Darcy Fehr went back to university at 40 and finds himself onstage in classic play
How's my home, James? What the measurement means to flood-prone Winnipeg
Aboriginal activists working to rock the vote
Co-worker's body odour causing stinky situation
A few dishes stand out at downtown fixture, but many others fall far short of excellence
Tina Fontaine's aunt wants more answers from Winnipeg's police chief
Documentary seeks out Canadian connection to Vietnam War