Julie Stewart-Binks’ tweet regarding Evander Kane from the other day got me thinking. You know, the one about “inside sources” claiming Kane wanted a trade because he wants to be the face of a franchise. That one little detail has me wondering: who is the face of the Winnipeg Jets?
I wrote yesterday that I believed it is and will be Evander Kane, but is that true? Is this Jets squad Evander Kane’s? Some could argue that it’s Andrew Ladd’s team, as he is the captain and a “heart and soul” type of player. Ladd has shown great leadership thus far, whether he’s hitting or scoring goals. He isn’t the flashiest player, but his work ethic and style of play makes him endearing to fans, especially on a team that doesn’t have a whole lot of star power.
Is Dustin Byfuglien the face of the franchise? He was the Jets’ only all-star last season, and is the easy-going, fun-loving type of player that fans can get behind. On the ice, he can be mean and exert his size when he wants to. Byfuglien can also show some finesse with better-than-average puck handling skills and a terrific shot. He was a playoff hero in 2010 and wore the alternate captain’s “A” at times last season. Big Buff’s personality and unique skill set/body type make him a fun player to root for, but does that make him the Jets’ front man?
There are a lot of good reasons to support Evader Kane as face of the Jets. He’s a young, exciting player with a bright future. He’s already been a 30-goal scorer and he has an edginess to his game. However, he’s had a dodgy first year in Winnipeg with the stories and rumors swirling about everything from discontent with Coach Claude Noel, bailing on restaurant bills and wanting to be traded. I feel that Kane will eventually be the marquee name in Winnipeg, if he isn’t already. However, he’ll need to agree to that long-term deal the Jets are trying to sign him to.
Who do you think is the face of the Winnipeg Jets? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.