PHILADELPHIA -- The question of Evander Kane's future with the Winnipeg Jets boiled up again Thursday on the eve of the NHL Entry Draft.
Late in the season, the talented left-winger was asked if he'd demand a trade and he chose not to answer the question.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff was asked Thursday if Kane has requested a trade and the GM did not look comfortable responding.
'These kinds of questions are really unfair. There are lots of conversations that go on. I'm sure there were levels of frustration at different points in time for individual players'
"Again, these kinds of questions are really unfair," Cheveldayoff said. "There are lots of conversations that go on. I'm sure there were levels of frustration at different points in time for individual players.
"From our standpoint, Evander is a Winnipeg Jet. I know that there's obviously been lots of different rumours out there. At this point in time, that's how we're going to proceed. As far as any demands, we're working as normal here."
Cheveldayoff was asked if his phone has been ringing about the 22-year-old forward who already has 99 NHL goals.
"I've been pretty open that from an organization standpoint we're going to listen to everybody," the GM said. "If there's a guy that a team has an interest in, then my phone is open for a phone call. That shouldn't be characterized that anything is imminent or that I've got deals on the table or not, and if I do, there's certain things that have to happen.
"I'm really not going to get into those kinds of discussions. There's enough out there at different points in time that some of it is probably true and some is probably false. At the end of the day, it is a business where you do discuss making moves that will help each other's franchises."
By his own admission, Cheveldayoff has many moving parts in play this week. He could be considering moving other players, not just Kane, in trying to forge a better on-ice future. Meanwhile, the window opened Tuesday for discussions with those who are unrestricted free agents as of next Tuesday. On top of that, Cheveldayoff will be trying to figure out how to deal with other restricted free agents -- to keep or not to keep and how much to pay -- and with his depth chart in mind at all times, there's a good chance he's angling to try to move higher in tonight's first-round selections of the draft (TSN, 6 p.m.).
"You make the calls, you try and see if there is opportunity," Cheveldayoff said. "I guess there has to be an appetite in the different people to want to move because there are some good players there. Teams aren't just going to say, 'Yeah, you know what, let's make a move.' It has to make sense for both sides.
"Will anybody be able to make a move up? Sometimes there's small moves, sometimes there's large moves. You certainly make the requisite calls."
The Florida Panthers, who have the No. 1 pick, have been open to offers. GM Dale Tallon has even said he has one legitimate one as of Thursday and that he'd prefer not to fall any lower than the 10th selection.
That would suggest the Jets, at No. 9, could be in the ballpark. Cheveldayoff would not tip his hand on whether he's being heard by the Panthers or other early-picking teams.
"I don't know that I can categorize it as more receptive or less receptive than in past years," he said. "It's part of the draft process."
No promises are made but based on the amount of chatter around this year's draft, it could be an unprecedented day for changes within the Jets. Or it could be the regular routine since 2011 -- just make your picks and get busy with their development.
"Last year we were able to add a roster player (Michael Frolik) with some draft picks on the floor," Cheveldayoff said. "There is an air of unpredictability sometimes that comes as you get closer to when things are starting to go."