Is Vancouver kid Evander Kane on his way out of Winnipeg?
On Tuesday, Evander Kane denied – but sorta didn't – any rumours that he may want out of Winnipeg.
"Well, I think I'm a Winnipeg Jet right now," Kane told Vancouver's Team 1040 radio station today. "And, you know, there's been speculation and rumours for the three years since I got there.
"We'll see what happens, and we'll carry on as if I'm a Winnipeg Jet."
Listening to Kane answer that question is like seeing someone say Yes while their head shakes No.
But he is right about one thing – he is a Winnipeg Jet right now.
Kane is signed with the team through 2018 to the tune of $5.25 million a season. Kane inked a six-year contract with the Jets that began before the 2012/13 season, the team's second in Manitoba.
"The relationship between Evander Kane and the Winnipeg Jets eclipsed saga status some time ago," writes Sportsnet's Ryan Dixon, "and it's starting to look more like a forgone conclusion the Jets will trade the young left winger before the start of next season, just as a pair of disgruntled centres – Ryan Kesler and Jason Spezza – have already been moved by their former clubs."
In his column (link above) Dixon suggests the Jets should part with Kane while they still have the power in the negotiations.
"This is just the latest development in a series of events – from Kane favouriting a tweet suggesting a trade to the Philadelphia Flyers to seemingly constant friction with former coach Claude Noel – that suggest divorce looms as a likely outcome. And when you get to the point where a relationship is beyond repair, the task then becomes minimizing damages.
"It's increasingly obvious Kane's heart is somewhere other than Manitoba and, good as he may be, there's no need for the Jets to grovel. Certainly Winnipeg needs all the help it can get trying to crack the dauntingly tight Western Conference playoff scene, but having a player around who has no interest in being there – regardless of his talent level – probably just moves you further away from that goal."
The city's daily newspaper, the Winnipeg Free Press, of course got ahold of Kane's interview in Vancouver, where the winger is from and played his junior hockey with the WHL's Giants.
Here's the FP's Ed Tait on Tuesday's interview:
Evander Kane hasn't exactly snuffed out the trade rumours swirling around him.
In fact, based on an interview he conducted with The Team 1040 radio station in Vancouver, it could be said he doused them with gasoline instead.
The subject of speculation for most of his days as a Winnipeg Jet, and especially leading up to last month's draft, Kane was asked by the radio station today if he wanted to remain with the team. And his response was very vague.
Kane turns 23 in August.
If you're unfamiliar with him, he's been doing things like this for a while: