It has finally happened. Winnipeg Jets nation can breathe a sigh of relief as the Evander Kane contract saga is over. Just minutes before the collective bargaining agreement expired and the NHL lockout began, the Jets signed Kane to a six-year, $31.5 million deal.
This is great news for a franchise looking to build with young talent. Kane is the centerpiece of what the Jets are trying to do. He’s a 21-year-old budding star, a cornerstone of the team who scored 30 goals in his third season in the league last season. Now they’ll have him signed through the 2017-18 season with a $5.25 million cap hit, which is reasonable for a player of Kane’s caliber.
Now all of the trade speculation and rumors of Kane wanting out can finally go to bed. It turns out that Kane just wanted to be paid.
In July, the Jets leaked an offer for Kane at six years and $29 million and it was no surprise Kane didn’t rush to sign because he would eventually see what players like Jeff Skinner and Taylor Hall got paid. Kane knew he could get more money from the Jets.
With good news unfortunately comes bad news. The Jets have their star locked up for the next six years, but when will the fans get to see him and the team play again? Now that Kane is on board, it will be hard to wait for the season to begin.
With the NHL now officially locked out, there’s no telling when play will resume. At least when the players can come back, everyone will know that #9 will be there in blue.