Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - If the Winnipeg Jets had their way, superstar
forward Evander Kane's signature will be inked on a new long-term contract with
the club in short order and they'll finally move on from dealing with the
speculation that the recently turned 21-year-old wants out of the Manitoba
But the longer Kane remains in limbo, the more heated the rumor mill will
become with suggestions that Kane has asked for a change of scenery despite the
fact that both Kane's representatives and the Jets have denied there's any
truth to the reports that he's asked to be dealt from the team.
While it would clearly be in the Jets' best interest to get Kane signed, sealed
and delivered, it's not hard to imagine the club reaching the point in which
they may feel it's time to walk away from the former Canadian World Junior gold
As much good as Kane has done on the ice in his young NHL career for the
Jets/Thrashers franchise - he had a career-high 30 goals and 57 points last
season in just his third season as a pro - he has seemingly garnered just as
much attention off the ice, especially now with all the talk surrounding his
trade request, real or imagined.
If the Jets decide to they want to part with Kane, there will certainly be no
shortage of suitors. Here are five teams that could take a run at Kane if he
hits the market:
The Canucks have made no secret about the fact they're searching for a power
forward with scoring ability and Kane would certainly fit the mold at 6-foot-2,
195 pounds. He'd also be immensely popular considering he's from Vancouver and
won a Memorial Cup with the WHL's Vancouver Giants back in 2007.
The Canucks have a number of prospects who could be of interest to the Jets in
a potential trade, but as far as an immediate return goes, their most
attractive chip to play is defenseman Alexander Edler. The 26-year-old set
career highs in goals (11) and points (49) last season and took part in the NHL
All-Star Game, but he is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of
the upcoming season.
The Habs are another team that would like to add some size up front and get
younger as well, and their most intriguing asset to dangle is fellow restricted
free agent defenseman P.K. Subban, who also has been rumored to be on the trade
Beyond that, the Habs have a number of proven, veteran scoring forwards who
might pique the Jets' interest such as Tomas Plekanec or Rene Bourque, but if
the Jets are seeking young, NHL-ready forwards in return to offset what they
would be losing in Kane, then Montreal likely won't be at the top of their list
of trade partners.
After watching the teams in their own division shore up over the summer, the
Flames would love to make a splash of their own by landing one of the best
young forwards in the NHL, particularly one who can be an heir apparent
for years to come to Jarome Iginla, their 35-year-old captain who is entering
into the final year of his contract.
The Flames have several up-and-comers in their system, including their two most
recent first-round draft picks in Sven Baertschi and Mark Jankowski who would
surely be on the Jets' wish list in any deal potentially involving Kane. As far
as roster players are concerned, Calgary has been actively shopping defenseman
Jay Bouwmeester and the Jets might have interest in the former Panther, seeing
as how his most productive years offensively came while he played in the
The Flyers' most desperate need is on their back end, but after losing the
likes of Jaromir Jagr and James van Riemsdyk this summer, one year after
jettisoning star forwards Mike Richards and Jeff Carter in separate trades,
shoring up their forward ranks is likely high on their to-do list as well.
The Flyers have proved they're not shy about doling out big money as evidenced
by their offer sheet to Shea Weber, but they appear hesitant to include the
likes of forwards Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn in trade talks. They may
soften that stance, however, in a more-involved deal, especially if the Jets
were to dangle All-Star blue-liner Dustin Byfuglien, who also has had his share
of troubles off the ice over the last year but would be just the stud
defenseman the Flyers are very much seeking.
After being bounced from the first round of the playoffs in back-to-back
seasons following their Stanley Cup championship in 2009, a major shake-up
might just be what's needed in the Windy City for the Blackhawks to recapture
their status as a perennial contender. Landing a player of Kane's ilk would
Chicago certainly has plenty of attractive assets that it could offer up,
including Patrick Kane, yet another player who might benefit from a change of
scenery and has been rumored to be on the block.
A Kane-for-Kane swap might be ideal for the Jets considering they'd be gaining
an established superstar who is still very young at 23, has a tremendous amount
of upside and is locked into a contract through the 2014-15 season at a
reasonable cap hit of $6.3 million.
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