According to Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press, the Winnipeg Jets and Evander Kane are hammering out the details of what appears to be a long-term contract. Lawless reported that the Jets are using John Tavares and Phil Kessel as contract comparables for Kane. Tavares signed a six-year deal with an average annual value of $5.5 million with the New York Islanders in September. Kessel’s pact with the Toronto Maple Leafs signed in 2009, was for five years and carries a cap number of $5.4 million.
This is obviously great news for the Winnipeg Jets and their fans as there were rumblings before the draft that Kane wanted out. If the Jets and Kane are able to strike a deal similar to either of the two above, it’s a great move for the franchise and Kane gets a nice payday. At just 20 years old, Evander Kane has already played three full seasons in the NHL and reached the 30-goal mark for the first time in his career in 2011-12. There is no question that the 4th overall pick in 2009 is the Jets’ most valuable asset and a cornerstone to build the team around for the future.
Kane has improved and matured each year of his young career and figures only to get better. Depending on what the return might have been, trading Kane could have set the Jets back at least a few years. Considering 30-goal scorers don’t grow on trees and that Kane’s best years are presumably ahead of him, he will be well worth the $5.5-6 million per year he will likely get from the Jets.
Once Evander Kane puts his pen to the paper Kevin Cheveldayoff puts in front of him, the roster will be just about complete, with their top scorer locked in and a deeper Jets squad ready to hit the ice when training camp begins.