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Jets need Evander Kane to take another step forward

Aug 6, 2012, 8:13 PM EDT

Evander Kane Getty Images

We’re into August now and Evander Kane is still a restricted free agent. He reportedly has been offered a six-year, $29 million contract, but hasn’t accepted or rejected it.

All the same, the most probable scenario is that Kane re-signs with the Winnipeg Jets. He’s the face of the franchise and is coming off of a strong campaign, but they’ll need even more from him in the coming years.

Kane set new career-highs with 30 goals, 27 assists, and a plus-11 rating last season. He also ranked third on the team with 173 hits.

That’s certainly impressive, but in a division that also includes Eric Staal, Alex Ovechkin, and Steven Stamkos, the Winnipeg Jets have had to rely on their offensive defensemen and depth to keep up.

That might have worked last season if not for their defensive and goaltending shortcomings, but things will be tougher in 2012-13. The other two teams that finished in the bottom of the pack in the Southeast Division, Carolina and Tampa Bay, have made some important additions over the summer.

On top of that, it’s not hard to envision the Washington Capitals rebounding thanks to a combination of their summer moves and healthier campaigns from Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green.

Meanwhile, the Winnipeg Jets biggest unrestricted free agent signing was Olli Jokinen.

To be fair, Jokinen is still a decent offensive force and might help push Kane to the next level. However, it seems evident that if the Jets want to keep up with the pack, then they’ll need to start getting bigger returns from their young guys and Kane needs to be at the center of that.

  1. mclovinhockey - Aug 6, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    I wonder what would happen if he just waits and there is a lockout…. He would be a UFA if im not mistaken.

    • Doesnotmatter - Aug 6, 2012 at 8:36 PM

      He’s 21 with 3 full seasons in the NHL. He’s still a long way from reaching UFA status. But I do have a feeling he isn’t happy in Winnipeg. At all.

      • mclovinhockey - Aug 8, 2012 at 11:05 AM

        if you dont sign as a RFA, next free agency season you are a UFA…. not sure if its the same in a lockout but thats the rule in the NHL now, not sure why 19 people thought I was a moron for that.

      • Doesnotmatter - Aug 13, 2012 at 3:03 AM

        @ mclovinhockey
        I don’t really know. All of my info comes from wikipedia. Those were all Jets fans. All 20 of them.

  2. aphoticapex - Aug 6, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    I’m honestly surprised reports of offer sheets going to this kid.

  3. aphoticapex - Aug 6, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    i’m sorry, that there aren’t any.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Aug 6, 2012 at 10:06 PM

      I really like Kane, but while it pains me to say it, I don’t think I’d mind a big offer sheet to come his way. I know the Jets’ brass will match just about anything but it wouldn’t hurt for them to be able to restock their shelves a bit. They’ve got Scheifele, Trouba, and…not much else. I don’t get all excited over guys like Klingberg, Postma, and Cormier (though Telegin is intriguing) because we have a lot of 2-4th liners. We need some serious, 2 way, top end talent and another shut-down d man or 2.

      They play exciting hockey but they need to be a bit more responsible in their own end and consistent on the road. Hopefully they address that with what they’ve got this season.

  4. killerpgh - Aug 6, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    I agree this kid is a stud and only 21 years old. I said back when it was rumored Kane didnt want to be a member of the Jets anymore that i hoped the Penguins would try to trade for his rights or offer him a 5 year 25-27.5 million contract. Compensation would be a 1st and 3rd for the 5 mil cap hit or a 1st, 2nd and 3rd for a 5.5 mil cap hit if the Jets didn’t match. Kane would make the perfect winger for Crosby – young, big, tough and can score.

    • lordfletcher - Aug 6, 2012 at 9:51 PM

      the Jets would match any offer and would be stupid to trade “his rights” for almost anything you could package

      get real!

      • killerpgh - Aug 6, 2012 at 10:48 PM

        I’m glad you know the Jets would be stupid for accepting anything the Penguins could offer. Are the Jets close to competing in your opinion? They finished closer to last in the conference than they did to making the playoffs last year in terms of points. They would still sell out every single home game with that crazy fan base they have even if they went into a rebuild. The Thrasher group did them no favors as far as prospect depth goes. According to hockeyfutures the Jets have the 25th worst prospect pool out of the 30 NHL teams. But according to you it would be a bad thing to try to improve the future or the Jets since the current team is so good.

      • lordfletcher - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:33 AM

        it’s hard to “improve” if you trade your best player that’s 21 years old.

        grow up kid, quit dreaming

      • lordfletcher - Aug 7, 2012 at 12:36 AM

        unless the Jets feel that Kane will not re-sign, they will not trade him.

        Kane can force a trade, but it won’t be for as cheap as you may think. The Jet’s will want something in return that can produce now, not possibly in 5 years with more draft picks like your offer sheet crapola

      • killerpgh - Aug 7, 2012 at 2:07 AM

        So I guess the part where I said when “it was rumored he didn’t want to be a member of the Jets anymore” went right over your head. Learn to read and comprehend what you read.

      • lordfletcher - Aug 7, 2012 at 10:49 AM

        I am more than aware of the situation and am reading your garbage clearly.

        The Jets will match any offer sheet thrown at them for Kane, simply because he would be worth more in a ‘real’ trade next year, than a sheet for just draft picks. Especially Pitts draft picks (20-30) … the only way a team can get Kane is if they send the Jets a package of quality players, or a top 3 player swap. As of right now, the Jets can compete for a playoff spot, battle for a 7/8th seed, it’s possible. Trading Kane does not make them better this year, or next.

      • killerpgh - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:43 PM

        Do you honestly think the Jets have a decent shot at winning the Cup this year or next? If they can improve their chances for the Cup in 3 or so years by adding more overall peices why is it bad? I know it’s hard for you to understand how teams can improve by trading away big pieces of the their team. But it happens. Look at Philly last year. They traded 2 of the best forwards in a span of 30 minutes and got a solid return and better in the long term as well. Like I said in my 1st post that you obvisiouly did not understand. If Kane doesn’t want to play for the Jets I hope Shero gets him.

  5. buffalomafia - Aug 6, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Who wants to play in Winnepeg? He wants to play with a winning franchise!

    • jimmypop204 - Aug 7, 2012 at 10:49 AM

      No one plays in Winnepeg, because no such city exsists.

  6. martysbetter - Aug 6, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    Evander Kane is at the top of my list of players I wish were on the Devils, however unlikely it is.

    • copman40 - Aug 7, 2012 at 2:25 PM

      The Sabres have plenty of wingers, established and young ones. They also have plenty of D men, established and young. However, they are in need of a Center. Kane would be very interesting, hope it comes about.

  7. capsfan19 - Aug 7, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    Ha ha ha if the caps nabbed em… Thatd be hilarious! In yo face winnipeg.

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