Is Kane Able?

 

Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Would A 6-year Deal Stop The Jets From Trading Kane?

Gary Lawless of The Winnipeg Free Press reports that contract negotiations are underway between the Jets and Evander Kane. The 21-year-old left winger is a restricted free agent after completing his 3-year entry level contract. The Free Press is reporting that Kane’s new contract is likely to look like those signed by John Tavares and Phil Kessel after their entry level deals expired. Tavares garnered $5.5M for six seasons, while Kessel received a five year $5.4M deal.

 

The length of the contract and the money that’s likely to be involved tells you what GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and the rest of the Jets organization thinks of Kane’s skills. He’s a true top-line winger with the ability to score at a point-per-game rate. Though a right winger, Kessel is the best comparison for Kane. They’re both shoot first, play defense later type players with 40-goal potential.

Rumours have been persistent since last year that Kane is possibly not interested in playing in Winnipeg. Lawless states that, “the tone of these negotiations would suggest the exact opposite and that his actual desire is to become a franchise player with the Jets.”

It should be noted that a contract extension may not preclude Cheveldayoff from trading the budding star. Kessel was traded as an RFA and rewarded as a Maple Leaf with his 5-year deal. If there’s a No Trade Clause (NTC) worked into Kane’s deal then clearly we’ll know that Kane wants to remain in Winnipeg – at least for the time being. However, if an NTC is not included Cheveldayoff will have one of the best young left wingers in the league playing for him and would certainly consider trading him should the right situation arise.

The Chicago Blackhawks, old Norris Division rivals and perennial big spenders, have been tied to Kane on more than one occasion. Cheveldayoff was also Chicago’s Assistant GM before taking the top job right here in Winnipeg. Should Cheveldayoff be in the mood to make a big splash, keep an eye on the Hawks.

I’ll leave you with a comparative look at all three players’ final entry level year:

Season

Age

Tm

GP

G

A

PTS

GC

+/-

PIM

EV

PP

SH

GW

S

S%

Kane

2011-12

20

WPG

74

30

27

57

23

11

53

24

6

0

4

287

10.5

Kessel

2008-09

21

BOS

70

36

24

60

26

23

16

28

8

0

6

232

15.5

Tavares

2011-12

21

NYI

82

31

50

81

30

-6

26

24

7

0

8

286

10.8

Topics: Cheveldayoff, Evander Kane, Jets, Kessel, Tavares, Winnipeg

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