A recent Twitter picture of Evander Kane posing with handfuls of money hasn’t sat well with his critics, one of whom believes the winger’s behavior could result in his being traded at some point.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Gary Lawless believes Evander Kane’s days with the Jets could be numbered. Lawless cited a photo Kane recently ‘tweeted’ showing him posing against the Las Vegas skyline holding stacks of money as yet another example of the winger’s irresponsible behavior. The columnist believes such incidents could eventually force Jets management to trade him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Talk about a mountain out of a molehill. The reaction to this has been overblown. Yes, Kane is a rich 21-year-old athlete, and like a lot of them, lacks maturity. Still, it’s not as though he was taunting poor, starving people with his wealth. As for Lawless’ list of complaints about Kane – (“not very coachable”, “he’s a talent but he’s also a problem”, he’s a “bad fit”, he doesn’t listen to his teammates, he lacks focus, he’s indifferent to criticism), if every NHL team dealt away young talent for such”offenses”, the NHL trade market would be a lot busier, salary cap be damned.
Yes, I’ve heard the rumors about Kane’s supposed bad behavior since coming to Winnipeg in 2011. He supposedly skipped out on restaurant bills, or that his mid-season concussion was not the result of a game, but a bar fight. All those rumors, however, are unsubstantiated hearsay. It is “heard it from a friend who knows a guy…” stuff. In this age where celebrity hi-jinks are captured daily by cell phone cameras, surely Kane’s supposed activities would’ve been photographed by an intrepid fan, unless cell phone technology hasn’t reached Winnipeg yet.
If Jets management honestly believed Kane was everything Lawless claims he is, if they felt he wouldn’t blossom into a franchise player with time and maturity, they never would’ve re-signed him to a six-year contract. Rumors swirled about Kane since last season. Despite the unsubstantiated rumors about him, speculation last summer suggested teams would’ve jumped at the chance to land him. While the argument can be made that having him under contract makes him easier to move, a $5.25 million per season cap hit can also be a millstone if he turns into the headache Lawless envisions him to be. If Kane were truly a “problem child”, the Jets would’ve moved him last summer and had done with it.
Maybe re-signing Kane was a mistake. Maybe it wasn’t. Time will tell, but no general manager worth his salt dumps a talented 21-year-old due to a lack of maturity. If Jets management jumps the gun and trades Kane over the next few years, it could be a mistake which haunts that franchise for years.