Long considered a detriment to the Winnipeg Jets, the Evander Kane tinderbox has finally exploded in Manitoba.
Last week, Kane was scratched from a game in his hometown of Vancouver.
Speculation went wild as to what this meant for his relationship with the team. It came out that he was scratched because he wore a tracksuit to the arena, a violation of team policy. It turns out that the story is far more complex than that.
Rogers SportsNet’s Chris Johnston reported that Kane wore a tracksuit to morning workouts, which did not sit well with teammate Dustin Byfuglien, who proceeded to throw the tracksuit in a shower. Following this incident, Kane was not on the team bus to the arena for the game. He did not reunite with the team until the flight home to Winnipeg. TSN’s Darren Dreger later reported that Kane was en route late to the arena, when the Jets told him he would be scratched.
Kane has battled an injury all season, and has now undergone shoulder surgery that will sideline him for 4-6 months. Honestly, it’s the best thing for the Jets at this point. Clearly, Kane is a bad influence on that locker room, and now he will be away from his teammates for a few months.
Despite the injury, there are still trade rumors surrounding Evander Kane. All reports indicate that the Jets are fielding offers for Kane, and that there are still some teams interested in his services long-term.
Evander Kane certainly has the skill to be a top NHL forward. But, does he have too much baggage? Reportedly, Kane has been unhappy in Winnipeg for years now. All he may need is a change of scenery.
Look at Mike Ribeiro. He was a disaster in Arizona, and had behavioral issues similar to Kane’s. He signed a one-year deal with the Nashville Predators, got his personal life together, and has thrived in Music City. If Kane gets moved at the trade deadline, perhaps he’ll perform better outside of Winnipeg.
There are a number of teams that could still benefit from Kane. Teams like Nashville and Anaheim are probably not interested, as they need pieces for a Cup run this year, and Kane’s injury may sideline him for the rest of the season and the playoffs. But, there are other teams that are not in playoff positions, like Philadelphia and Colorado, that could really benefit from Kane.
Should he get moved to Philadelphia, it would give them yet another scoring forward to join Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux. They may have to give up some defensive depth to acquire Kane, but it may be worth it.
Colorado would be a great destination for Kane. He would get to play alongside incredible young forwards like Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon. Patrick Roy is a coach who doesn’t play around. He would be able to control Kane and make sure he behaves.
If Kane gets moved, it would help him adjust his life and clean up his reputation. But, if he is traded and continues his detrimental behavior, he may never work in the NHL again.