Evander Kane: Should the Penguins Target a Trade for the Talented Winger?


The relationship between Evander Kane and the Winnipeg Jets has been a tense one to say the least.

Things got a lot more tense tonight when the Jets made Kane a healthy scratch against his hometown Vancouver Canucks. The young winger has no points in has last three games, but posted a strong month of January that saw him tally 4 goals and 7 points in 10 games (he has 10 goals and 22 points in 37 games this season).

Drafted 4th overall by the organization when they were still the Atlanta Thrashers, Kane has had a strong first 5 years in the league, posting 109 goals and 113 assists so far in 361 NHL games.

Kane’s best season came in 2011-12 when the winger posted 30 goals and 27 assists in 74 games.

Yet the Winnipeg faithful have not exactly welcomed Kane with open arms, taking issue at times with the young forward’s propensity to lead a not-so-conservative life off the ice.

The most telling instance of the tense relationship came when Kane posted a photo on Twitter of him holding a stack of cash as if it were a a money phone of sorts. It was obviously a harmless photo, all in good fun, but some around Winnipeg decried Kane for not leading the type of conservative, squeaky clean life off the ice expected of franchise players (see: Crosby, Sidney).

Winnipeg’s failure to recognize the talent they have in Kane is only good news for the league’s other 29 teams, however, as the tense relationship surely lends itself to speculation that the Jets may feel the need to trade their promising young winger.

If this is the case, would Kane be a good fit for the Pittsburgh Penguins?

Without a doubt.

Getting him to Pittsburgh would be the true issue, however, as even if Winnipeg is willing to move the high-flying winger, they’re certainly not giving him up for spare parts.

The team reportedly did consider moving Kane prior to this season – even engaging the Philadelphia Flyers in talks, per TSN’s Bob McKenzie – so a move is not out of the question.

Kane would obviously be an excellent fit in Pittsburgh when it comes to his talents on the ice. The dynamic winger would be a great addition to any of the team’s top three lines, and would certainly see his game elevate to All-Star levels if placed alongside Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.

Off the ice, there are issues to be dealt with, but it seems said issues may be more a result of Kane still being a fairly young man (he’s still only 23 years old) rather than there being any permanent character flaws.

A similar situation that comes to mind would be that of Tyler Seguin. The electrifying young forward was run out of Boston for similar “off ice issues” only to see his game flourish with the Dallas Stars.

Live Feed

Where Will The Edmonton Oilers Toughness Come From?
Where Will The Edmonton Oilers Toughness Come From? /

Oil On Whyte

  • This Is Best Edmonton Oilers Top 6 In Over A DecadeOil On Whyte
  • Updated Round 2 of the Stanley Cup PlayoffsBlackhawk Up
  • Oilers are peaking at the right timeOil On Whyte
  • Would The Edmonton Oilers Be Better Off With Zack Kassian Over Jesse Puljujarvi?Oil On Whyte
  • Ideal Oilers Lines When Evander Kane ReturnsOil On Whyte
  • While Kane may not possess the same MVP-calibre skill of Seguin, he could still certainly see his game rise to a new level if he was to be moved to Pittsburgh – not only due to the prospect of playing with elite centres like Crosby and Malkin, but also due simply to the wake-up call of being traded from a team that drafted him to be a franchise cornerstone.

    Not to mention that while the Jets have some notable veterans, they have no one on the level of Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. Kane’s antics may be hard to contain on a team like the Jets, where he’s the marquee star, but coming to Pittsburgh, where he would be only one piece of a puzzle that features some much bigger fish, it’s not hard to imagine Kane falling in line and learning from the Pens’ elite veterans.

    Again, the Jets aren’t going to move Kane without getting a strong package in return though, and seeing as he’s set to make $5.25 million per season until 2017 (per Spotrac.com), the Pens would have to move some salary to even be able to afford the winger.

    One name that comes to mind as someone the Pens could send the other way is Paul Martin.

    The veteran defenseman and former Olympian could provide some stability on the Jets blue line, and moving his $5 million-per-year salary off the books would make ample room for Kane on the Pens roster.

    With Martin’s contract expiring after this season, however, Pittsburgh would certainly need to include some legitimate pieces – most likely coming from the Pens’ treasure chest of promising, young defensive prospects.

    It would take some veteran savvy for Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford to swing a blockbuster trade the likes of this, but in terms of whether Kane should be on their radar considering this new development in the Kane-Jets saga, the answer is a definitive yes.

    Considering Rutherford has already pulled off some quality trades for David Perron and Patric Hornqvist, an Evander Kane deal could very well be on the horizon, assuming the Pens can put together an enticing package.