Archive for July, 2012

The Evander Kane Problem

As Winnipeg Jets winger Evander Kane continues to make fans fidget, waiting for him to sign (or not) a long-term contract, it’s time to air some of my grievances with him.

Kane presents a unique and potentially troublesome situation. A truly talented hockey player with unlimited potential, but also an attitude that stinks worse than hot garbage, and a list of priorities so out of whack that it actually makes me cringe sometimes.

Let’s start with the good.

Talking strictly hockey, the kid has nothing but upside. The numbers don’t lie. At 18, he had 14 goals and 26 points. At 19, he had 19 goals, and 43 points. And at 20, his first season with the Jets, he scored 30 goals and 57 points.

Now, if this were a 35-year-old veteran, you might be able to get away with suggesting that his numbers will start to decline. But Kane is probably still a few years away from his prime, and only God knows how many points he’ll be putting up when he’s 25 or 26. Only 24 players in the NHL scored more goals than Kane in the 2011-2012 season, and they were all older than young Evander.

There’s no question that his hockey numbers must overshadow any issues he might be having behind the scenes.

As well, I, probably more than most, understand the fact that he is young, stubborn, rebellious and, at times, stupid. I’ve been there. And we have to assume that it is ultimately something that he will outgrow.

I’m not sure if this is something that was made public, because I only ever heard it from my mother: She was at a Jets game one evening (can’t remember the date), and the Jets ended up losing. Kane managed to salvage I believe it was the 2nd Star of the game. And he no-showed his home crowd. Just didn’t come out.

There are clearly a lot of things that go on behind the scenes that I’m not going to claim to be an insider on. But one thing I do know, is that amidst the medley of different rumours and accusations surrounding Kane this past season (running out on his tabs, getting his ass kicked at Whiskey Dix), NONE of his teammates ever stood up for him.

And my biggest gripe by far with Evander Kane, is his absolutely shameless advertising of people and companies who have obviously stuffed some crisp 100-dollar bills in his pocket in order to get him to do so.

Sometimes his tweets read like actual corny advertisements. Like this gem, for example (names/numbers removed): @EKane9Jets:Cracked my iPhone screen again! Thanks to my #cellphonerepair guy @________ it’s just like new! Call ________ *NUMBER HERE* @________

Get a grip, kid. You’re being offered $5M per year to play in front of the greatest fans in the NHL. It’s time to start showing some respect to them, and carrying yourself like an all-star, if that’s what you want to be.

The Captain.

Like I said, I’m not foolish enough to want a stud like Kane off of our team just because he gets under my skin every now and again. But as someone who grew up idolizing Steve Yzerman, I know there’s never any better combination than talent and class. And I think it’s just about time that Kane started showing some of the latter.

Kane’s birthday is in two days, and he will be 21 years old. Maybe the changeover will be instantaneous? On the other hand, he’ll be able to drink in the United States next season… this could be bad.

The ball is in your court, Kaner.