Going into the season, everyone had a feeling that the Sabres were not going to be a competitive hockey team. Fast forward to five days before the trade deadline and Buffalo is battling it out with the Arizona Coyotes for worst team in the NHL.
As the days roll forward towards the trade deadline,the possibility of Sabres’ forward Evander Kane being traded becomes more likely.The 26-year old forward is in constant ups and downs with the Sabres ever since being traded to Buffalo from Winnipeg three ago. Kane is now in the last year of his contract and seems to be on the fast-track out of Buffalo.
Recently, Kane got into a scuffle with teammate Justin Falk. While being separated, you could hear Falk calling Kane “selfish.” So things in Buffalo are not “peachy,” but what team will Kane fit on when he leaves? Kane is an excellent player, but with a significant cap hit and a sub-par attitude, he is going to have to land in the right position to be successful.
What He Needs
Kane will need a place with a stable structure, but again the issue with that is very few teams with structure have the cap space to bring in a guy like Kane. Two places that come to mind would be Nashville and Toronto. These teams have the cap space to take on a guy like Kane, and they have a veteran presence in the locker room that keeps everything straight.
Now comes in the issue of Kane’s value. Every team values players differently and that plays into how much they are willing to give up for a player. Kane has been a cancer in the Buffalo locker room, and that is an instant red flag for many of these teams. There are many great players available at the deadline this year in the NHL, and a guy with a bad attitude and a fat contract most likely doesn’t fit into that mix.
With that being said, here are some possible trades that you could see from these three teams at the deadline to acquire Evander Kane.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs are loaded with wingers, but that hasn’t stopped them from entering conversations with teams about forwards. The Leafs moved winger Nikita Soshnikov to the Blues. This was most likely to clear a roster spot for a trade.
Many people believe that they are setting up to land a defenseman such as Erik Karlsson potentially, so they probably have a shallow value on Evander Kane, but that does not mean they won’t throw an offer the Sabres way.
There is no reason for the Sabres to keep Kane. He is going to leave after this season, so it is ludicrous for them to think a team will come in breaking the bank for him. Toronto has the cap space to take on Kane’s contract outright, and they also have a plethora of prospects to work with.
Dmytro Timashov and a third-round pick for Evander Kane
The Leafs already have an incredibly large amount of young wingers so the trading of Timashov would not hurt their prospect pool that much. The Leafs most likely don’t value Kane that high, so this would be one of the lowest prices to pay. The Sabres would accept this deal if they get to the deadline and don’t have any offers available.
Buffalo also needs a playmaker, and Timashov could bring that to their lineup whenever he is ready for the NHL. This trade would benefit the Leafs for a run this year and then the Sabres for the future.
The Predators are in a battle for first place in the Central Division against the Winnipeg Jets. They could be looking to add a bigtime player to their roster for a playoff push.
There have not been many trade rumors buzzing around Nashville, but I could see them trying to acquire a substantial player like Kane. A change of scenery is needed for Kane. Going to a place that is hockey crazy like the Nashville could make all the difference in his attitude.
Scott Hartnell and a second-round pick for Evander Kane
At 35-years old Hartnell is expendable, especially in a trade for a guy like Evander Kane. Hartnell this season has been far less productive than Kane. Kane has 39 points on the season to Hartnell’s 16 points.
If the Predators make this deal happen, it could be the added boost they need. They are already a very good teae but add in a two-way player like Kane; it could put them over the top. I think that this move would be worth the steep price of a second-round pick.
Sabres forward Evander Kane has known he was on the trading block for a while now. Kane is quoted at the start of the year saying that he knows it is going to happen, it is just a matter of when. His most recent quote solidifies that Kane knows he will be dealt. “There’s so many things that can happen, but it looks like we know what is going to happen.”We are four days off from the trade deadline now. It is inevitable that Kane will be on the move. It seems that he has already turned on the locker and it has done the same to him. A trade will be good for both teams to get a fresh start and move forward.
Featured image by: Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
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