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The curious case of Evander Kane vs. Winnipeg restauranteurs

Jan 23, 2012, 3:11 PM EDT

Over the weekend, Winnipeg Free Press columnist Gary Lawless spotlighted a bizarre situation involving Jets forward Evander Kane.

Turns out this sign, which recently popped up at a Jets game…


…has kicked up quite the hornets nest.

While Kane dismissed the sign on Twitter — “hahaha what a complete Lie this is,” he wrote — Lawless noted it’s the latest in a series of incidents involving the 20-year-old:

— Kane has a business manager (a different person from his agent, Craig Oster) who went around to Winnipeg restaurants asking for cash in exchange for Kane’s endorsement tweets.

— The piece alleges Kane is “immature” and often comes across as arrogant. “[He’s] a lightning rod for this sort of thing,” Lawless writes. “He’s a big-time talent in a small town. Being a handsome young millionaire endowed with enormous God-given talents will do that.”

Lawless did reach out to two of Winnipeg’s more popular eateries — 529 Wellington and Earl’s — and neither confirmed the accusations of skipping on bills. (One establishment called Kane “a perfect gentleman.”)

But in unearthing these claims, Lawless discovered one of the more intriguing parts of the story:

He wasn’t the only one doing some digging.

Turns out that NHL security had also conducted an investigation to the matter (which Lawless learned about by contacting various restaurants.) While an internal investigation isn’t evidence of guilt, it does toss fuel on the “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” theory.

Kane’s only been in Winnipeg for over half a season, but it’s been a tumultuous campaign. There have been rumors of trade demands, public spats with his head coach and now, he’s on the shelf with a concussion — yet he’s also the Jets’ leading goalscorer and is second in points despite being the second-youngest player on the team. He’s a polarizing figure either way.

  1. yettyskills - Jan 23, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    So you finally get a team again and your business community is chasing away the talent already. Not like selling Winnipeg as a free agent spot isn’t hard enough.


    Kiss your best player goodbye

    • themohel - Jan 23, 2012 at 4:27 PM

      So, your point is that businesses in the community shouldn’t be paid by Kane because demanding payment for services rendered will drive away other hockey players? You really think this will be the determining factor in a free agent’s decision? Better chance that Kane being a punk will drive away potential free agents…

  2. stanjonathon - Jan 23, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    I’m guessing that sign was made by a waitress he screwed over rather than a business owner.

    Sounds like the young man has been coddled his whole life. Time to grow up.

  3. pavelfitzgerald - Jan 23, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Yikes Yettyskills, easily the most moronic statement I have ever read. Plenty of places in Winnipeg give these guys the royal treatment. Nonetheless, that shouldn’t be an expectation & Evander has shown his immaturity by doing shit like this. His biggest concern when the Thrashers were moved here was whether or not he could bring his Lambo – that sums it up right there

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