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Was Evander Kane a healthy scratch Wednesday?

Nov 7, 2013, 8:57 AM EDT

Evander Kane #9 of the Winnipeg Jets celebrates after scoring a goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period at PNC Arena on March 26, 2013 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Winnipeg won 4-1.
(March 25, 2013 - Source: Grant Halverson/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Evander Kane didn’t play on Monday due to a lower-body injury, but he was able to participate in Wednesday’s practice. The stage seemed to be set for him to play against the Chicago Blackhawks last night, but he didn’t.

Why he was held out of the contest is apparently a matter of debate. Kane feels he was a healthy scratch, but Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel disagrees.

“Players for the most part always believe they can play and you have to do the things that are intelligent,” Noel told the Winnipeg Free Press. “There’s been no change.”

The 22-year-old forward is in the second season of his six-year, $31.5 million deal. He hasn’t been living up to expectations in 2013-14 with six goals and nine points in 15 games and he had a minus-two rating in Winnipeg’s 5-1 loss to Chicago on Saturday.

The Jets suffered another big loss against the Blackhawks without him — this time by a score of 4-1. Winnipeg ranks last in the Central Division with a 6-9-2 record.

  1. stonebullet - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    I have to say, and not just picking on Jets here, but league-wide these $5-6+ million contracts are such a gamble. It’s nice to see NHL-ers getting paid well and the sport growing it’s revenue and fan base. It really is the best, most entertaining sport. But you can go right down almost every roster in this league and see a lot of those high cost players struggle significantly.

    It’s amazing to see how much 20 goal scorers can go out and get in today’s NHL. I can’t really argue if the money is there to be made but it is kind of mind boggling how the financial landscape has changed for players today.

    • stonebullet - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:38 AM

      And to add to my own comment, part of the salary hikes isn’t just performance on the ice, but it’s also t-shirt sales, marketing, etc. Some players may be only worth $3-4mil for on ice production, but get $4-6 mil because they are marketable as well off the ice and make the team more money, sell more t-shirts, create more hits on websites and advertising. You’re not just paying for skill, you’re paying for their off-ice appeal as well that generates the income for the league/teams.

    • davebabychreturns - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:34 AM

      The fact is that a couple of years ago $4-5m and now $5-6m spent on a player is no guarantee that you’re going to be getting a guy who you can rely on night in, night out production.

      Those guys – the Kessels, Perrys, Getzlafs, Parises, Datsyuks – are getting well over the $7m mark and handily breaking $8m per season in some cases.. and it’s only going to go up.

      Kane and the Jets are another story completely, but the “middle class” of NHL players who once got a couple million a year are now making well over that because there aren’t nearly as many high end scorers as there are teams who want one (and many of the teams who can’t get enough top end guys will pay slightly less for a significantly less effective player to fill the gap).

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