The Pros of the Evander Kane-Flyers Speculation

Created 3 years 363 days ago
by Michael DeNicola

Tags: Claude Giroux Evander Kane Ron Hextall Winnipeg Jets
Views: 2928

by Michael DeNicola

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 --

Let's get something straight; I'm more than tired of all the offseason Evander Kane trade rumors. Especially when they involve the Philadelphia Flyers. It has become a regular thing, now. Throughout the summer months, when news is slow and the eagerness for anything hockey gets the rumormills buzzing with groundless speculation and lazy click bait, fans are ready to believe almost anything. Ninety percent of the time, I dismiss it -- not because I believe I know everything, but because I'm starving for credible, legitimate reporting. Most times, that's simply not the case when it circles around Winnipeg's 4th Overall choice in 2009. 

Keywords... "most times"

This morning, Buzz on Broad caught wind from TSN's Insider, Bob McKenzie, regarding a trade that almost happened between Philadelphia and the Jets.

In Bob's words --

"He needs to be a happy member of the team. He needs to be a productive member of the team. And if he’s not, then the Winnipeg Jets need to make a move.

"Now I believe the Winnipeg Jets did look seriously at their options of trading Evander Kane over the summer. That there were conversations with a number of teams, not the least of which was the Philadelphia Flyers and that there was something very close to happening, but it didn't happen."

McKenzie is as reputable as insiders get. He's a lovable, knowledgeable older gentlemen with a foot in every war room's door and an ear against every frozen pond. Bob has more unnamed sources than the Pentagon, and the information he chooses to disclose always has legs. Which is why I'm listening to this report, even though it orbits around Evander Kane. 

Am I happy the Flyers went after five-year veteran winger? Yes, but not in the way you think. 

Evander is a hell of a hockey player, and considering he's locked down on a $5.25mm term through the 2017-18 season, he'd come at quite a bargain compared to today's going rate for skaters. I am always a fan of that Bang for Buck type roster player, especially when he's still four-years outside of penetrating his prime -- Kane just turned 23 on August 2nd.

Kane has stitched together a pretty successful resume in the points department; though he's only collected one 20+ goal season (2011-12, 30G), he has had three others where he put up a 20+ goal pace. Kane has yet to complete an entire 82-game campaign. So, arithmetically speaking, Evander is a legitimate 20-goal scorer and should theoretically continue to be one for awhile.  

On top of his points production, Kane is an entire package-type player: he's fast, agile, harnesses "pure goal-scoring instincts", and gets more physical than an alpha lion. Flyers fans love that grit, right!? And there's no moment of Kane's career that we love more than this --

Fuck yourself, Cooke. 

His biggest weakness has been said to be his attitude, and how he lacks that "team player" mentality. None of which any of us can confirm beyond what we've read from the media, or heard from "my friend who lives in the 'Peg and says Kane is such a dick!" Two elements I rarely invest any merit in being bona fide sources. So again, I tend to dismiss it. 

But one thing is certain... Kane is disgruntled and tired of losing with the Jets. He has personally made that loud and clear. Many professional minds have agreed that it'd behoove the Jets to move Evander for a King's ransom -- the return on the kid ought to be a great boost in rebuilding that Club. 

Kane would immediately slot into our top line's left wing position, giving Claude Giroux his much-needed added offensive weapon. 

This is the part of the whole rumor I appreciated. 

Obviously, if this McKenzie report is true, an agreement could not be made between the two franchises, and they parted ways. If you're a fan of Evander Kane, you're bummed. If you buy into this whole "He's a cancer!" crap, you're glad our office pulled out of negotiations. 

But collectively -- whether you're the bummed or proud -- we have something to be happy about: Ron Hextall is on the hunt to get our franchise player the left winger he deserves. 

Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek are an elite forward pairing possessively, but they miss that pure goal-scoring edge. Maybe Brayden Schenn's progression factored into his promotion to the top line will spark an abundance in lit lamps. But he's still a question-mark, and certainly not an uncontested #1 LW like Evander Kane is today. 

At 26-years old, Giroux is fast approaching his prime, if he hasn't penetrated it already. I know our fanbase is happy to hang our hats on the future defensemen we have developing in the pipeline, but Giroux is a 'Win Now' guy who has been registering 'Win Now' statistics for a good chunk of time. Three, four, or five-years from now when our defensive prospects have bled into our NHL roster, what type of player will Claude be then?

What I'm getting at is, Claude Giroux is an active linchpin to Stanley Cup success, and he deserves the tools to win us hardware TODAY. The future is all well & good, and I'm just as excited about it as anyone in our Orange circle. And I am certainly not implying we begin selling off these future pieces in bulk to get the roster players in return.

I'm actually not implying anything at all. I'm simply focusing attention on the fact that our front office recognizes Giroux's needs, and they're sprightly on the hunt to acquire this asset. 

What pleases me the most about this news is that Hextall & Co. aren't willing to dump the farm for an outsider in return. We know Ron mentioned he wouldn't do exactly that, but this is tangible evidence -- again, assuming McKenzie's report is true. 

The Winnipeg Jets undoubtedly asked for one or more core pieces from our roster. Many people start with the obvious; Sean Couturier. Or perhaps a duo of these attractive defensive prospects of ours. I'm sure a 1st Rounder or two wasn't out of the question, right? Or maybe Kevin Cheveldayoff had the King Kong balls to ask Hextall for all of the above!

Who knows!?!

Here's the point: the Flyers are ready to give Giroux what he needs up front, all the while not being willing to mortgage what we're developing for the backend. Hextall is playing a strategic game of chess rather than going all in with a hand of potential Wild Cards. He's expressing interest with limits, and it's more than refreshing to think about. 

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