Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Huge sigh of relief in Winnipeg as the Jets finally put an end to a six-game winless streak, and ending that happened to coincide with the tempestuous departure of Evander Kane, first from the team in Vancouver after an altercation with teammates and then the team in general as a shoulder injury that will require surgery has cost him the remainder of the season.
The Jets managed to take a step beyond the controversy by beating the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday, winning 5-3 after blowing open a close game with a four-goal second period. The two points helps the Jets strengthen their grip on the first wild card spot in the Western Conference and should help the team regain some equilibrium.
GM Kevin Cheveldayoff still has to figure out what to do with Kane, or rather when is the most opportune time to dispose of Kane for good. In the meantime, the Jets have something called 'the playoffs' to consider.
read on for more topics from the ESPN hockey writers, including LeBrun on Boston/Montreal
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Unquestionably, if the Jets wait until then, there will be more teams in a position to make an offer. That's conventional wisdom. But Kane-ventional wisdom suggests the Jets may pay a penalty for the delay.
Even if the Jets had a healthy and happy Kane in their lineup, they were looking for more depth up front, especially on the wing. Winnipeg had been looking at Toronto's Daniel Winnik and reportedly called Ottawa on Chris Neil, though it's believed Portage and Main is on Neil's list of 15 places he can't be traded to.
Taking Kane out of the lineup for the rest of the season leaves a significant hole. The great misnomer is because Kane was playing on the "third line" he's a "third liner." The 30-goal man's numbers have been in decline for a couple of years now, though many write that off as a by-product of injury. Nevertheless, Kane still logged quality minutes amongst the Jets' forwards this season.
The point is there is some pressure on the Jets, more than ever in their brief history, to make the playoffs. It's been there all year long but the fact Winnipeg has, aside from a recent losing streak, played so well, the post-season expectation has risen, become even more tangible.
Teams interested in Kane now are likely to test Cheveldayoff's resolve and/or patience by offering packages weighed more heavily with here-and-now help than future considerations to see if he bites.
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
For sale: One left-winger with a bad shoulder and a bad attitude. Line forms to the left.
What do you mean you want to exchange pesos for dollars? And no, we don’t take rubles.
Kane’s agent Craig Oster let the first bit of air out of the tire Friday evening, admitting there had been talks about potential trades over the past few seasons. Other sources later confirmed the information.
While the news Kane had asked to be moved was no shocker, the timing of this leak piles on to a soap opera that opened this week with the player playing 20 minutes in Calgary and ended Friday with Kane electing to have shoulder surgery.
In between, Kane broke the team dress code at a meeting in Vancouver and then had his clothes thrown into a tub of water by veteran teammate Dustin Byfuglien. A healthy scratch and three days of screaming headlines and Kane had enough.
When, according to his agent, surgery was again offered as a solution to a previous shoulder injury, Kane said yes and ended his season.
Kane, according to his agent, had been offered surgery prior to the season. The fact he only opted to go forward with the operation after Tuesday’s doings is impossible to ignore.
via the CP at the Times-Colonist,
Kane's agent, Craig Oster, said the forward considered undergoing surgery last summer but decided to rehabilitate the injury instead. When Kane missed practice Thursday, Maurice said the winger was seeing team doctors for an undisclosed ailment that has bothered him all season.
Reports initially indicated Kane was benched because he broke the team's dress code by wearing a track suit instead of a suit to a team meeting.
"The decision to have surgery ... is based simply on health reasons, nothing more," Oster told The Canadian Press in a phone interview.
The benching only heightened speculation about Kane's long-term future with the club. A source confirmed to The Canadian Press that Kane had a run-in with teammates the day of the Vancouver game that included Dustin Byfuglien throwing Kane's track suit into the shower.
"The event itself — I think there's been a terrible amount of speculation and rumours in terms of what may or did happen," Oster said. "I don't know the facts. I don't know that anybody really knows all of the facts so I really don't have anything to comment (on) because I refuse to speculate about it."...
Kane hasn't asked for a trade, Oster said.
"He continues to be a Winnipeg Jet and will be until his contract expires or until he's traded," Oster said.
Bob McKenzie was just on TSN Toronto radio...
It a poorly kept secret some of Evander Kane's teammates are not on the same page as Kane and the feeling is mutual. They sent a message to Kane in Vancouver.
McKenzie says he doesn't know Kane personally enough to make a long-term judgment on him but does say he is only 23 years old.
McKenzie says Kane is available and says there are two types of teams right now, contending teams and non-contending teams.
He also mentions his injury could be a concern now, would you trade for him and find out later he needs surgery.
Teams will do their homework on Kane and then decide if they should take a shot at him.
Will his maturity level get better is the question.
McKenzie says if Kane really wants to get out of Winnipeg, the best thing he could do is play at his level. The decision is Kane's, does he shut it down and go for surgery or play through it and prove his worth?
McKenzie says the last thing the Leafs need is Kane, they have enough wingers, they need centermen.
He also says he is certain a Kane trade will happen and logistics tell him a trade will more likely happen during the summer and again, it depends on if Kane decides if he is healthy enough to play this year.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
Evander Kane failed to show up in time for Winnipeg’s game in Vancouver earlier this week following an incident with Dustin Byfuglien and other teammates, Sportsnet has learned.
It was previously believed the Jets had made Kane a scratch for the game in his hometown. Following the 3-2 overtime loss on Tuesday, Paul Maurice termed it a “coach’s decision.”
However, multiple sources familiar with the situation have since indicated that Kane was not on the team’s bus to Rogers Arena and then missed a pre-game meeting. Repeated attempts to reach him were unsuccessful until approximately an hour before puck drop, when Kane answered his cellphone and said he wouldn’t be playing against the Canucks that night.
Earlier in the day, the 23-year-old winger is said to have had a run-in with teammates.
from Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun,
Five straight losses have significantly loosened their grip on a playoff spot, and has the Jets looking over their shoulders again, not at the teams above them.
What should have people reaching for the panic button, though, isn’t a simple losing streak. It’s how this team has suddenly begun to act like the old Jets.
You know, the immature, defensively inept bunch we got tired of watching the first three years. The one that cost Coach Claude his job just over a year ago.
Topping the list of concerns today is the return of Evander Kane to the coach’s doghouse, no minor detail given the circumstances in Vancouver, Tuesday night.
Kane was all set to play before his family and friends in his old hometown, only to see Paul Maurice banish him to the press box, presumably for breaking a team rule.
I say presumably because Kane had been one of the Jets better forwards of late. And if he’d been hurt, the Jets would have said so.
added 3:17pm, from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province.
via Paul Wiecek of the Winnipeg Free Press,
"Coaches decision not to be in the lineup tonight," Maurice said after a 3-2 overtime loss to the Canucks at Rogers Arena pushed Winnipeg’s losing streak to a season-high five games but at least salvaged the Jets a much needed point.
Asked if he cared to expand on his answer, Maurice bristled. "What do you think the chances of you getting more are? We work together."
Asked if it was any more difficult to sit down one of his most productive players in recent weeks given Winnipeg’s current losing streak, Maurice replied: "I’ve just been doing this long enough that most of these aren’t that difficult to do."
Asked if he expected Kane to be in the lineup for Winnipeg’s next game — Friday night at MTS Centre against the Chicago Blackhawks — Maurice was flippant, suggesting that answer will have to wait for later in the week.
"Flight tomorrow fellas. Are you coming back to Winnipeg?...We’ll probably talk again. OK," said Maurice. "You guys get down to the MTS Centre tomorrow between 1:30 and 7 and I will catch up with you there."
That last comment was apparently meant to be a joke. The Jets have no practice or availability scheduled for Wednesday.
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