One of the players that could potentially fill the Canadiens' lack of top-six wingers is the oft-maligned Evander Kane.
Whether or not the Jets are ready to trade him is debatable.
The fact of the matter is the Jets are currently in a playoff spot, and jettisoning a quality player like Kane seems to defy logic. Kane has scored over 100 goals in the NHL, and he's only 23 years old. That being said, his tenure in Winnipeg has been rocky of late. He's found his way to the third line, playing alongside Adam Lowry and Chris Thorburn. The situation came to a boiling point on Tuesday when Paul Maurice announced Kane would be a healthy scratch. It turns out that Kane was scratched due to a dress code violation. This will surely throw some gas on the trade rumour fires.
On the Evander Kane situation in WPG, how best to put this? It's complicated.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 4, 2015
Let's assume that the Jets are willing to deal Kane. Would he fit a pressing need? What would it take to acquire him? Is it worth it?
(chart sourced from http://ownthepuck.blogspot.ca/)
- Kane is a goal-scorer, which would fit the pressing need for more scoring.
- Shots, shots, shots, and more shots.
- He's about to hit his prime, and despite his current situation in Winnipeg, it's fair to say he's a quality top-six player. He had his a rough patch this season, but all signs point to that being a temporary problem due to a very low PDO, and nagging injuries.
- At 6'2" Kane combines his skill with size, which is always an big asset in the NHL.
- Under contract until 2017-2018.
- UFA at the end of his contract.
- He won't come cheap. To acquire talented players you have to give up talented players.
- Lacks discipline on the ice.
- A left winger, which isn't the ideal target for the Habs, who lack depth on the right wing.
- Like Brendan Gallagher, Kane needs to improve his defensive play.
- Montreal would have to move around some assets to absorb his $6M salary.
I reached out to Cara & Ryan from our sister blog Arctic Ice Hockey, to get a better idea of what the Jets would realistically be looking for in a trade. Here are two of the scenarios presented.
1) Nathan Beaulieu, Charles Hudon, and a first-round pick.
2) Jarred Tinordi and Lars Eller, third-round pick.
In both scenarios Beaulieu and Tinordi's names seemed to be interchangeable, which indicates that Beaulieu is being undervalued. It appears that it would be dealer's choice as to which of Montreal's young defensemen they'd want.
Is it worth it?
We'll leave that up to the community to decide, but my opinion is that acquiring a young, talented, considerably-sized goal-scorer is never a bad idea. The cost to acquire such a player will never be cheap, and the name of the game with trades is generally to fill a need without creating a new one. While voting you'll have to consider whether or not losing a player like Beaulieu or Eller would be a worthwhile cost for a return like Kane.