A few months ago a conversation on Twitter about Evander Kane got pretty animated. Some people posted that Las Vegas could never take on Kane if he was left unprotected by Buffalo. I couldn’t believe a talent like the Sabres power forward was being passed over by so many arm-chair GMs. We’re talking about a rare talent that’s physical, can score, and has solid puck possession skills. (C’mon, tell me those corresponding links don’t fit the double entendres perfectly) Not many players have all three attributes… we’re back to talking about hockey.
Now to be fair, the people against Kane don’t deny his capability, what scares them is his off-ice behavior. He’s no role model. Kane has never been convicted but he’s been twice investigated for criminal behavior. Late last year Buffalo cops dropped charges for sexual assault. Now, a New York judge dismissed charges against Kane for a reported physical incident at a Buffalo bar. And let’s be serious, the name of the bar was Bottoms Up. A bar in Buffalo, NY named Bottoms Up has seen plenty of physical incidents.
Understandably, the two investigations listed above don’t make Kane look like a good guy. In fact that same New York judge called him out as being, “arrogant, boorish, and surly.” (Kind of reminds me of this guy actually) He also told Kane to make sure he keeps his nose clean for six months, something the power forward needs to do if he wants to stay in the NHL anyways. It’s tough to make the case for the 25 year-old forward with his off-ice behavior.
Although, let’s only look at the talent on the ice. While he nurses broken ribs suffered in the Sabres’ opener, Kane gets ready for another 20+ goal season, or maybe he’ll even put up stats like his first season in Winnipeg scoring 30 goals, and 27 assists. That’s top notch production for a beast who spends a seasonal 80+ minutes in the SinBin. The upside is incredibly worth it for a new franchise like Las Vegas. Kane’s exciting, talented, good looking, and the best part is his contract. If he came to Las Vegas, he’d have one year remaining on a six-year deal. Sure, it’s a heavy $5 million cap hit but Vegas can wash their hands clean in 2018 if things don’t work out.
Kane’s big body presence (sorry, couldn’t help myself), and his offensive production is hard to find in the NHL. Plus, at 25 years-old GM McPhee couldn’t swing and miss any better than that. He has the possibility of making an instant impact for the Knights, but they have to take the chance on him first. He may not be innocent, but he’s clear of any charges. It’s now a morals issue for the organization. Is this the type of player you take a chance on? I say, without a doubt. And let’s be real, who doesn’t want to continue seeing what kind of pictures we can dig up if we had a whole season of Evander Kane in Vegas?