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Jets ruffle feathers by making Evander Kane a healthy scratch

Apr 5, 2014, 6:58 PM EDT

While there are plenty of teams fighting for their playoff lives, more and more franchises will be tempted to rest players once it’s clear that their place in (or out of) the postseason is cemented. The Winnipeg Jets made some waves in that regard on Saturday.

Despite telling The Canadian Press that he intends to put a competitive Jets team on the ice going forward (out of respect to the league’s playoff races), the interim head coach made a “coach’s decision” to sit Evander Kane as a healthy scratch.

The Jets’ opponents are the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team whose playoff hopes climb and dive with each win and loss.

Again, Maurice’s comments seem to contradict this lineup choice.

“We’ve all been through it before,” Maurice said. “I think whenever possible you put your best lineup in there.

“They deserve it: The Toronto Maple Leafs deserve it, and so do the other teams in that fight.”

NHL.com’s Patrick Williams vented about the situation on Twitter, to give you an idea of some of the reactions:

Whether observers find themselves livid with the decision or just-plain-indifferent, the bottom line is that the Jets will face the Leafs without Kane, one of the league’s rising power forwards. Perhaps people will look at this as a memorable decision if Toronto squeezes into the playoffs.

  1. c9castine - Apr 5, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    oh man, here we go.

  2. lowenni - Apr 5, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    Don’t really understand this. I know Kane has underperformed this season, but is there really some other option the Jets have to help them in their playoff push? Kane at the least is not a liability defensively, so I guess this is a matter of being held accountable for not doing what he’s supposed to be doing (scoring goals). That being said, it’s too late in the season to make this statement, especially as the Jets make a push for the playoffs, however farfetched it is.

    • phxyotes - Apr 5, 2014 at 8:09 PM

      The Jets have no chance to make the playoffs. So at this point it’s just the head coach flexing his muscle.

  3. Wineshard - Apr 5, 2014 at 7:22 PM

    Kesler for Kane on draft day here we come.

    • 11111111111a22 - Apr 5, 2014 at 9:09 PM

      Uhhh…wut?

      • jcmeyer10 - Apr 5, 2014 at 10:10 PM

        Look at his username. He “wineshard” so in this case, I just assume he is drinking too much wine.

  4. canucks30 - Apr 5, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    Yes. Because Kesler will totally waive his no trade clause to go to Winnipeg.

  5. jetsfan1973 - Apr 5, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    Trust me – we don’t want Kesler either.

  6. pavelfitzgerald - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    Kesler played in Winnipeg in his AHL days .. ..
    And honestly, I wouldn’t trade Kane for Kesler straight up because Kane has soo much more upside. Kesler is the better point producer right now but he’s not getting any better & is injury prone

  7. drewsylvania - Apr 6, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Maybe due to the domestic violence charge?

  8. paulerhythm - Apr 6, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    What ever the problem is, Kane needs to man up and play this game with passion. That’s the least he can do for the Jets as they are paying his salary.

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