This from the Department of Redundancy -- Evander Kane hasn't exactly snuffed out the trade rumours that continue to link him to just about every team in the National Hockey League.
Based on an interview he conducted with Matt Sekeres of The Team 1040 radio station in Vancouver it could be said he has doused them with gasoline instead.
The subject of speculation for much of his days as a Winnipeg Jet and especially leading up to last month's draft, Kane was asked by the radio station today if he wanted to remain with the team.
And his response was very vague.
Here's the exchange:
Sekeres: Evander, do you want to play for the Winnipeg Jets anymore?
Kane: Well, I think I'm a Winnipeg Jet right now, and, you know, there's been speculation and rumours the three years since I got there. So, you know, we'll see what happens and we'll carry on as if I'm a Winnipeg Jet.
Sekeres: There's not a yes in there, and some Jets fans might say, 'Why doesn't he want to play for us? Or why isn't he absolutely fully on board for playing for us?' You're shaking your finger at me.
Kane: I'm training hard and getting ready for this season, and last summer I didn't have a full year of training due to some surgery I had, so I found it really important for me to start training early and get myself in the best shape possible for this season. So that's my focus."
Discuss that for what it's worth, Jets fans. Two other facts to consider: Kane, who doesn't turn 23 until next month, had 19 goals and 22 assists in 63 games for the Jets last year and has 99 goals since turning pro in 2009-10. He has four years left on his contract with the Jets with an annual salary of $6 million.
EYES IN THE SKY: Jets' coach Paul Maurice isn't on the ice during the team's development camp, turning the coaching over instead to St. John's IceCaps' Keith McCambridge, Mark Morrison, Jason King and Dusty Imoo along with Dale Hawerchuk and Jimmy Roy. But that doesn't mean he isn't studying the club's prospects closely.
"I would say I'm the least important piece to this cog right now because these guys are going to change so much," said Maurice. "There are teams in the past where the GM doesn't want the coach at these things because you form opinions about these kids. I really like the way (Jets' Player Development Coordinator) Jimmy Roy does this, the attitude and the theme of what goes on here. I'm just trying to familiarize myself more with the style of player than anything else.
"This week I'm looking for them to work as hard as they possibly can and to enjoy it," he said. "It's July. We want that compete level. I watch how they finish drills, what happens when they make a bad pass... that first body reaction, body language. It tells you what they're feeling and where they're at. But it's about being careful not to assign too much of a future path based on this first week of July."
ON THE ROAD BACK: Goaltender Jason Kasdorf, the Winnipeg product and Jets' 2011 draft pick, is trying to reclaim his form after having his 2013-14 season wiped out by a shoulder injury. A torn labrum and broken piece of cartilage was repaired surgically in November, limiting the former ECAC Rookie of the Year to just two games for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
"It really makes you appreciate the game, missing six months of hockey," said Kasdorf, who played for the Portage Terriers before heading off to college. "You can't take anything for granted. You're really blessed to be able to play a game that you love every single day."