The Philadelphia Flyers have been linked to Evander Kane multiple times in the past, and now the player is likely available for trade. Does the glove fit?
Some Philadelphia Flyers fans may remember the team once being linked to talented yet problematic forward Evander Kane. To refresh your memory, back in June 2014 (shortly after Hextall took over as GM) rumors were pretty heavy about Evander Kane being trade from the Winnipeg Jets. Things went so far that Kane himself liked a tweet about being traded to the Flyers.
Of course, nothing happened. In hindsight, Bob McKenzie commented that things were very close to happening, but the Jets still hoped Kane would turn into a long term Jet.
Well, while that trade didn’t occur, Kane didn’t turn out to be a long term Jet player either. The Jets traded him to Buffalo in February 2015. Kane has turned in one season in Buffalo, doing “okay” scoring 20 goals and 35 points in 65 games, but with strong possession numbers.
At least that’s just on the ice. Off the ice, Kane has been implicated in two recent off-ice incidents. First it was a sex offense allegation in December, and just recently, it was harassment at a bar. No charges came from the first incident, and Kane will face non-criminal harassment charges for the latter.
The end result is that, reportedly, the Sabres are considering trading Kane, which brings full circle to the Flyers’ interest in the player back in 2014.
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Back then, the thought was the Flyers could trade Brayden Schenn plus other picks or players to bring in Kane. Now, Schenn is coming off a possible breakout season, and Kane’s off-ice troubles are mounting.
On the ice, Kane is exactly what the Philadelphia Flyers need. A strong (6’2″, 204 pounds) scoring winger who can skate. It’s been 5 seasons since he set a career high with 30 goals at only 20 years old, but the ability is still in there. He’s still only 24, so he should have plenty left to contribute and even improve to new heights. Does this perfect skillset make the off-ice issues a worthwhile risk for the Flyers?
Compare Kane to Schenn. Kane, in fact, was taken one pick before Schenn in the 2009 NHL draft. Could a trade centered around the 2 players become possible again?
The third variable in the equation is contracts. Kane has 2 years left on a contract with a cap hit of $5.25 million a season, and then will become a free agent. Schenn is out of contract, and is currently negotiating a deal with the Flyers. As we have explored, Hextall may or may not be inclined to sign Schenn long term when he can command ~$5 million per season.
Those contracts line up quite well. Additionally, the tables may have turned so it would likely be Kane plus picks or other players to fetch Schenn, instead of vice versa. There are quite a few dots to this story, but they can line up.
Is Kane’s perfect skill set for the Philadelphia Flyers lineup worth the risk of off-ice distractions? If Hextall truly has doubts about Schenn’s long term value, he might be tempted to swap the players.
What would kind of deal would it take for you to make a trade centered around Kane for Schenn? If the Flyers could buy low on Kane while also getting perks of picks or players, or relief on Streit’s contract, I’d have to think pretty hard about it.