It was a disappointing year for the Winnipeg Jets, faltering early, and missing the playoffs for the third straight year up north. Although the team as a whole was to blame for the overall lack of success, some players did not live up to expectation. In many eyes, Jets’ forward Evander Kane was among the most disappointing, and his lack-luster season may have been his last with the club.
Kane scored just 19 goals and 41 points this season, nowhere near the numbers expected of the young star. Three separate injuries limited him to only 63 games, leaving the Jets high and dry in some of the most crucial match-ups of the season. For a team that was usually under-matched at best, the Jets needed the former 4th overall pick to be playing the game. However, lousy decisions (such as a fight with 20 seconds left in a game, leaving him out of action for a month) caused Kane to miss simply too much time to be effective for the team.
The Jets are in need of a re-tooling before the 2014-15 season starts; in fact, GM Kevin Chevaldayoff’s job might depend on it. It seems that many want Kane out of town, so the Jets can start anew with the existing group of young guns in Mark Scheifele and Jacob Trouba, as well as prospects such as Adam Lowry, Nic Petan, and Josh Morrissey, who are sure to make the jump in the near future.
At only 22 years old, and with five NHL seasons already under his belt, Kane seemingly would be the perfect piece to build a club around. However, his off-ice trouble is just one more hurdle the Jets have to keep avoiding, and it could turn out to be one too many.
— Patrick Helper (@Helper_Sports) April 4, 2014
Kane is being sued by a Vancouver man over an alleged assault last summer, and although the Jets aren’t involved in the case, it certainly isn’t something they want tarnishing the clubs’ reputation, with Dustin Byfuglien and Ondrej Pavelec having troubles of their own in the past.
With a trade a strong possibility in the near future, it’s time for the Jets to act fast, and maximize the return from a player whose stock has already dropped substantially. Ideally, the Jets could off-load Kane before or at the NHL Entry Draft on June 27th in Philadelphia.
In my opinion, I believe the Los Angeles Kings would be a possible landing destination for Kane. The Kings have searched for the right piece to finish their offense, and many haven’t made the cut. At only 22 years old, Kane could go into that organization and be a fixture for a long time. He may become a 30, even 40-goal scorer, but a return such as a draft pick and prospect Tyler Toffoli could make it all worthwhile in Winnipeg.
Kane seems to suit the so-called “Hollywood lifestyle” that many Kings’ players live, and would fit right in the city. Other possible landing spots include the hometown Vancouver Canucks, who are searching for any signs of life, or the Phoenix Coyotes, who were so close to a playoff spot this season. I don’t believe any team on the East coast would be a fit for Kane, or vice-versa. However, when trading within the Western Conference, Jets’ management must be careful to not hamper their own chances by improving a close competitor.
Only time will tell where Kane moves, or if he moves at all. With Kevin Chevaldayoff announcing Ondrej Pavelec would be the clubs’ #1 goaltender next season despite many expecting his contract to be bought out, it seems that Kane could dress in a Jets’ jersey for one more season, at least.
Now, it’s your turn to decide. Do you want to see Kane with Winnipeg, or another team next season?
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