Evander Kane wants out of Winnipeg. Sorry Jets fans but if you look at this honestly you know it’s true. When Evander Kane gets asked outright if he is a “Winnipeg Jet” and his answer can be summed up “As I am still I’m not anymore” he does not see his long term future with that franchise. Many have asked the question where should Evander Kane get traded to, my question is a bit different, “What should a team be willing to trade for Evander Kane?”
The best way to answer this is to first try and get a good handle on what the player is. Evander Kane is a twenty-three year old center with a career high thirty goal season. Let’s look at his relative value. He has not quite reached his prime yet and with the right coaching his skill may improve but what is undoubtable is that with a better supporting cast he maybe able to turn that career high thirty goal season into an average. What may make him more attractive than most players out there is that Kane has four years left on a contract that carriers a $5.6 million per year hit. During this past off season Paul Statsny, and Thomas Vanek were signed to higher per year deals and Dave Bolland was signed to deal worth only $100,000 dollars less.
Now let’s think of what teams would want him. I immediately discount any team that is “rebuilding”. If the Jets trade Kane they would only do so if they feel that the return is a strong start to start their own “rebuild”. The only teams who would want Kane’s services are the ones who are a first or second line center from a Cup run and are willing to part with some picks. Looking at those teams I would think that Chicago, Colorado, Tampa Bay, and maybe a few others.
What would it take. Any team thinking about this deal has got to come to terms with one thing. It is okay to trade a prospect and a couple of high draft picks (especially if you got extra, am I right Tampa?) to get a player who will add a lot of strength to cup runs over the next four years. They also need to realize that the sooner they make the trade the better so.
2014 Season: Three high draft picks over two years and a young prospect
2015 Season: Two high draft picks and a prospect
2016 Season: Two value assets (either draft picks or prospects)
2017 Season: One prospect
The lesson: if there is going to be an Evander Kane trade than it is for the benefit of both the Jets and whatever team he is traded to to make a deal as soon as possible.