Report: Canucks debating whether to make Jets an offer for Evander Kane before trade deadline

We know that the Vancouver Canucks are interested in Evander Kane because general manager Jim Benning admitted as much this week. 

It’s not quite that simple though, and the club is reportedly debating whether or not they can afford to wait until after the March 2nd NHL trade deadline to make the Winnipeg Jets a credible offer for the 23-year-old power forward, according to ESPN and TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

“In a perfect world they’d rather go after (Kane) in the offseason because they’re going for the playoffs,” LeBrun said during an Insider Trading segment broadcast on TSN Tuesday evening. “They don’t want to give up a roster player as part of a package for Evander Kane, but they know if they wait, maybe the ship goes by on Evander Kane and they miss out on their chance.

“That’s a debate right now for the Canucks – ‘do we have to act before March 2nd?'”

In addition to his comments on Insider Trading, LeBrun elaborated on the dynamics from Vancouver’s perspective in an ESPN Rumblings blog post. In his ESPN piece he broached the possibility that, hey, maybe the Canucks fall apart down the stretch and end up giving away a really high draft pick for Kane, who is set to miss four-to-six months as he recovers from shoulder surgery, if they pony up to acquire the controversial former Vancouver Giants forward over the next three weeks:

The debate for Vancouver is that, while it would make more sense to wait until the offseason to make a play for Kane, because the Canucks are trying to make the playoffs and Kane won’t play again until next season, the danger in waiting is that Winnipeg could move him before the March 2 deadline.

So if you’re Vancouver, and you really want Kane, can you afford to not make an offer now?

Then again, what if that first-round pick you throw in the package suddenly becomes a top-10 pick if your season unravels in the final month of the season?

No doubt that’s a risk, but it’s not a tremendous one. Vancouver currently has an 82.5 percent chance of qualifying for the postseason, according to while @ineffectivemath pegs them at 72.5 percent. Even if the club misses the playoffs, they’re likely to do so narrowly, and Vancouver’s management team should probably be comfortable with swapping a 10th overall selection (or thereabouts) for a player of Kane’s age and abilities. 

The real risk here is actually pretty minor: that the Canucks make the deal, miss the playoffs, and win the lottery despite having extreme long-shot odds of doing so. Come to think of it, if Benning and company were to trade their first round pick, that lower lottery slot would for sure hit the Connor McDavid jackpot.

It doesn’t even matter if the pick Vancouver moves to Winnipeg has two percent odds or something horrifyingly unlikely like that. As any good Canucks fan knows the mostly sordid, historically awful luck of the Canucks franchise would pick that precise moment to strike in the cruelest fashion imaginable. 

  • ikillchicken

    If the canucks give up prospects and a pick for Kane this will cement the management group as the most idiotic/Tine deaf group in hockey. There will be no excuse for bringing a player like Evander Kane in and expecting him to turn the franchise around. The team has too many holes and too many deficiencies for a player that hasn’t even hit 60 points in his career and could possibly be on a decline to turnaround. Luckily other teams likely have more to offer, thus saving the canucks from their own stupidity

  • ikillchicken

    Teams have the option of offering a conditional first round pick or, as the Islanders did in the Vanek trade, retain the option to push the first round selection one year into the future.

    This is all pretty moot, though, if the Canucks are unwilling to part with Horvat or Virtanen.

    There’s absolutely no way to make the best offer for Kane with 2 or even 3 assets if Horvat/Virtanen are not included…

    • andyg

      It’s amazing that people just do not learn. For EVERY trade that everyone knows is going to happen, people severely overestimate the return. It happens every time. Seguin, Turris, Bobby Ryan, Kesler. Winnipeg has no leverage – everyone knows he will be not play another game in a Jets uniform. Even if 5-6 teams are interested, they will use this to their advantage.

  • WTF

    I am thinking Benning pulls the trigger on an offer before the deadline. Two draft picks a 3rd this year and our 2016 first rounder, plus a top prospect not named Bo or Jake, and a forward currently on the NHL team.

    • pheenster

      Is that all? I still have my farm to give.

      Sorry, hate to disappoint you. Ha ha! Canucks don’t have a 3rd round pick for the next couple of years…Swapped last year for Dorsett, and next year’s for Pedan.

  • andyg

    Let’s say he really wants to play in Van!! It usually takes a year to fully recover from shoulder surgery. Then he will have 2 more years to prove he is worth 5 plus million.

    The summer of 2018 the Canucks will be done with the Sedin’s contracts and he will be a ufa. (Lots of money will be waiting for you Evander)

    The only thing that I would give up is vets. Offer Vrbata and Hansen. Take it or leave it.

    We would tank and get a top 10 pick.

    • andyg

      This is my feeling as well.

      The Canucks don’t have any other NHL forwards with significant trade value aside from Horvat.

      Guys like Kassian and Vey are worth next to nothing…

      Teams won’t give up anything significant for the veterans making market value or better like Sedin, Sedin, Vrbata, Burrows, Higgins & Hansen.

      Winnipeg is pushing for the playoffs for the first time in a long time.

      If they were interested in a pure futures package, they would ship Kane to a team in the East with better prospects…

  • WTF

    If the Canucks land Kane, the first post on this blog ought to go “Oh my god! That`s Jim Benning! That’s got to be… that`s got to be Kane! Oh my god he just ripped the gate off its hinges! Look at the first line potential on this man. He`s a superstar, whoever he is.”

  • Vanoxy

    Now is the time to make an offer.

    Contenders are out of the picture, so our best chance is before the deadline.

    The Jets need help for the stretch drive, so a package now could include NHL players, who can make an immediate impact. Waiting til summer means it will be more about futures, which is our weakness.

    Matthias would fit in with The Jets lineup nicely and allow Buff to moveback to D
    Maybe him, Horvat and Jensen or a 2016 first gets it done.

  • pheenster

    What I’m enjoying the most about this situation: one group of us will be right, and the other will be wrong. Kane will either fetch the king’s ransom that many on here (not to mention Tim Cheveldayoff) seem to expect, or he won’t. I’ve been pretty clear on where I stand on this, and I’ll be the first to stand up and say I was wrong if he brings anything close to what TC wants.

    Thing is, TC seems to expect a return based on “potential”, which is hard to do when the player in question has five years in the league under his belt. At that point, the player has what’s known as a “track record” and any GM worth his salary is going to negotiate based on that. Might Kane go on to have multiple 40-goal seasons? Sure, but there’s precious little in his track record to indicate that he will. That track record says 1 30-goal season, inconsistency, injury prone, attitude problems. So why would any GM (except Paul Holmgren) give up assets as if they were trading for a 40-goal scorer when all they’re really getting is someone who they hope might be a 40-goal scorer?

  • Vanoxy

    I think Benning has to go after Kane. I wouldn’t give of Jake V. But anyone else should be fair game.

    Kane is a 30 goal scorer who is only a couple of years older than Bo. Sometimes guys like Kane need to be traded once before they straighten up? Also don’t discount his not wanting to stay in Winnipeg. The guy grew up and played in Van.

    Worth the gamble to me.

  • Vanoxy

    I don’t think that Winnipeg has the advantage in this trade. they can demand a kings ransom but I hope that the Canucks don’t give it to them. much like the Canucks situation with Schneider and Luongo. force the jets into a corner where they have to accept an average deal compared to what they’re asking for right now. I’d rather keep all of our prospects and draft picks than get Kane. we could get Kane in a couple of years AND have all of our prospects and picks. wouldn’t that be a better situation?

  • Vanoxy

    A player, a prospect and a pick. Effectively three future roster players for ryan kesler part 2? No thanks. We might as well trade a demko and next year’s first rounder for mike richards, if making stupid trades is the name of the game.

  • andyg

    Hear is what Benning needs to realize. If this kid really wants to only play here then he can be signed as a ufa in 2018. If he is just a problem child then we could give up assets and slow down our rebuild. Work on making him into something just to have him go and sign elsewhere in 3 years.

    Maybe where the sun shines and the taxes are less.

  • andyg

    Higgins or Burrows, Kassian, Horvat or Virtanen, and a 1st round pick (along with basically giving up on the playoffs this year) is what it’s going to take land Kane. That’s a steep price to pay for 30 goals per year.

    • andyg

      It’s not 30 goals a year but 30 goals once in 5 years. It’s the only time he’s scored more than 20 goals in his first 5 years. Tyler Seguin is also a goof but at least he scored over 25 goals 3 times in his first 6 years

  • andyg

    I don’t care if the Canucks try for Kane or pass on him because his stats aren’t great and he may have severe maturity issues that may ruin a locker room. However, if the do make an offer, it had better NOT include Horvat, Virtanen, McCann or the 2015 1st. In his rookie year, Horvat has 12 pts to Kane’s 22 while playing on the 4th line, playing 9 minutes a game less and getting no power lay time. I really think Horvat will be a far better player than Kane. I would offer Kasian, Shinkaruk and Lack as my absolute best offer and if they want more, walk away.