The most important item on the to-do list for the Winnipeg Jets is getting their star left winger Evander Kane signed to a long-term contract. The summer has brought a mixture of good and bad headlines and rumors surrounding Winnipeg’s #9. The situation seems unclear. It has taken the Jets some time in their negotiations with Evander Kane to the point where an offer sheet may be a concern, especially after the Philadelphia Flyers went all-in on Shea Weber with an offer sheet of historic proportions.
It seems like we’ve seen a little bit of everything with Kane, starting with his rumored unhappiness in Winnipeg and desire for a trade. Next came Kane’s agent Craig Oster shooting those rumors down and telling the media that he was working on a new deal with the Jets. That was about one month ago. Between then and last week, everything regarding Evander Kane was pretty quiet until it was reported that Kane’s contract details were being worked out and appeared to be close to signing. However, here we are and there is still no deal.
There is no question that the Jets want to get Kane signed and it is probably true that he wants to remain in Winnipeg, but the longer the negotiations drag on, the more likely the chance of a team desperate to make a splash serves up a big offer sheet to the star winger. Plenty of teams would have been interested in a trade if he were available, and those same teams probably wouldn’t mind parting with a few draft picks.
However, let’s say Kane does get offer sheeted. Is he going to get 10 years? Will a team pay him over $7 million per year? It’s possible, but I highly doubt it. Kane’s contract has been speculated to end up in the $5.5-6.5 million range and if any team comes up with an offer at that annual salary for five to eight years, the Jets are probably matching it.
Kane is an extremely talented player who is very young but has a lot of potential to be one of the NHL’s stars based on where he is in his career right now. He isn’t afraid to go the net, he plays physical and he scores goals. The Jets aren’t going to lose this kid unless some GM gets stupid with his wallet. Even though Kane is a young star that could be good for a very long time, I don’t see him getting an offer the Jets refuse to match.
Unless talks break down with Kane and he demands a trade, expect him to be a Winnipeg Jet for many years to come.