Report: Flames have thought about making an offer for Evander Kane

Could the Calgary Flames be interested in orchestrating a deal with the Winnipeg Jets that helps the fledgling Manitoba franchise rid themselves of their recent Evander Kane headache? 

It seems like a long shot, but the club is interested in exploring the possibility, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

“The Canucks, Flames and Capitals have thought about it or would at least like to explore (the possibility of trading for Kane); Kane intrigues them that much,” McKenzie wrote in a digital column on tsn.ca on Monday.

“Flames’ GM Brad Treliving is under no illusion that the (currently) playoff-bound Flames are a legitimate Cup contender, that there’s a grander vision in place,” McKenzie continued. “It’s possible a piece like Kane could, under the right circumstances, make sense in Calgary.

“Winnipeg would undoubtedly want Calgary’s top prospect, Sam Bennett, and that’s not anything the Flames would be prepared to do. Maybe there’s a Plan B there to work a deal for Kane; maybe there’s not.”

Obviously if the price in a potential Kane deal is Bennett this isn’t a transaction the Flames should touch with a ten-foot poll. And they won’t. 

If a plan-B including names like Josh Jooris, Jon Gillies, Mark Jankowski, Mogan Klimchuk, Michael Ferland, or even Emille Poirier would be interesting to Winnipeg though, then this could be a very intriguing possibility for a Flames team that’s already poised to be absolutely stacked in a few years time.

Though Kane is perceived to be working through some issues related to immaturity and an inability to fit in with what the Jets players seem to see as their team concept, there’s no questioning his physical play and goal scoring ability.

JetsNation.ca’s Garret Hohl recently took an in-depth look at Kane’s abilities as a goal scorer and two-way player:

Kane scores goals at a faster rate than the average first liner, and his points sit in between the average first and average second line player. For the Jets, he places in second for goals and fifth in point production.

If you are really set on using the inferior points per game rate rather than per minute rate, Evander Kane’s 0.69 points per game rate is 82nd in the NHL for active players with 100+ games played. This number rises up to 59th if you select only listed wingers at hockey-reference.com; the young forward falls between the mis-listed David Backes and Brad Marchand.

Scoring is important – someone has to put the puck in the net – but out scoring your opponent is more important. Under the same sample, Kane has posted a 51.3 Corsi For percentage. The average player in their respective depth position sits at 51.9, 50.7, and 49.3. Kane’s Corsi percentage combining this season and the last sits at 51.8 percent, and rises to 52.0 percent when you adjust for his teammates and line matching.

Perhaps the biggest reason why Kane would fit in with the Jets is his elite even-strength shot rate. Though the Flames have scored just enough goals to hang tough in the Pacific Division this season, they’re a bottom-five team by 5-on-5 shot rate. They’ve been reliant, perhaps too reliant, on favourable offensive bounces. 

Well over the past four seasons, including this one, Kane ranks second in the entire NHL in 5-on-5 shot rate behind only New York Rangers forward Rick Nash. He’s done this mostly while playing with stiffs like Kyle Wellwood, Olli Jokinen, Alex Burmistrov and Adam Lowry.

Now imagine him on the left flank of Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan and you’d really be cooking with oil… For the next decade.

If the Flames want to address their shot generation issue long-term, Kane would appear to fit the bill. Though the 23-year-old power forward won’t be available to help the club make a playoff push down the stretch, if Winnipeg is willing to settle for any of Calgary’s secondary prospects as the centrepiece in a swap for Kane, Treliving and Brian Burke should be all over it. 

  • RexLibris

    Not only could BT be in on the conversation, he SHOULD be. It’s not that he will give away the farm but any time a player of Kane’s calibre is available (especially at a discount rate) it would be irresponsible for BT to not be part of the conversation. I’ve stated before that the Flames are very strong from ownership (Edwards) to management (BB/BT) to the coaching staff and extended to the players. It could backfire but it would be worth the risk. The challenge is what it would cost. I’m wondering about a package consisting of Glencross (with a new deal worked out), Sven and possibly Ramo or Hiller. The Jets need some goaltending help as they’ve been hot and cold all year. As far as BT’s alleged comments about not winning the Stanley Cup this year, it’s unlikely he said it, but it’s the reality. The Flames are two years away from contending so while you won’t dismiss the playoffs this year, they’re still building a team for 2017.

  • I don’t get why moving this yrs 1st is a non-starter for some (earlier addendum aside).

    Kane’s cost will likely be in the Bobby Ryan range, which is the typical “player + prospect + pick” (Silfverberg, Noesen & a 1st).

    I absolutely wouldn’t move Bennett, and I wouldn’t move next yrs 1st. If its Emile Poirer vs 2015 1st (not in top-10), I’d give up the 1st.

    Klimchuk is what – maybe a B+ prospect that’s probably at least a few yrs away from maybe being a 3rd liner (so really, why would WPG bite anyway?).

    Glencross is an expiring contract that could prob fetch a mid 2nd.

    So people are scared to deal a B prospect, a 2nd & a mid 1st for a legit top-6 F? I don’t get it. Frankly, I would think the Jets can do better than that anyway. Either way, Flames should be willing to move a few future assets (Granlund/Baertschi/Klimchuk/1st) for legit 20-something players now or at the draft.

  • RexLibris

    If the Flames want to acquire Evander Kane they will need to trade their 2015 1st round pick, a prospect and perhaps a player, depending on the quality of prospect offered.

    Cheveldayoff cannot accept anything less and it is unlikely that another team wouldn’t offer at least that much.

    The exercise here isn’t to ballpark what fans might feel comfortable with, but rather try and determine what they could reasonably offer that would decide the matter in their favour against competing bids without overtaxing their prospect system.

    The 2015 1st is in play or there isn’t a deal. The Flames wouldn’t accept anything less if the roles were reversed.

  • Craig

    I think the conversation would start at 1st pick, Sven/Granlund, and a roster player. Not sure who they would want though, but I think it would cost a top six, they may even want Hudler.

    We get Kane and a middling prospect.

  • RKD

    I have no problem with Kane the player, I have a problem with Kane the person. Is he a guy who would work his tail off and give 110% under a guy like Bob Hartley? You would be hard pressed to find anyone who could say that definitively. Bob and the coaching staff would have zero tolerance for Kane’s behavior. I still think Kane ends up like Seguin and Spezza on a U.S. team where the spotlight is off of him. The price tag for Kane would be high, probably a first round pick and a prospect. The Jets need another top 6 forward. I’m not surprised the Flame inquired on Kane and personally as a player he’s a better option than Mike Richards or Chris Stewart.

  • PrairieStew

    It’s been said often that sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make. That statement strongly applies here.

    For a rebuilding club, Kane is simply too much of a risk and causes too large of a distraction. The market comes into play here. If Kane goes to a place like Florida, not a huge story. He comes to Calgary and the attention goes off of what a hard working, never-say-die team the Flames are, to “what’s new with Kane today? Has he done anything dumb yet? Are his clothes still dry? How’s he fitting in? Gio, do you like him? Blah, blah, blah.” It’s a completely unwelcome distraction in the midst of a team trying to make a run for the playoffs. It has the potential to completely backfire. Players do not do what happened to Kane and make these things public without there being big problems. Culture is so important to long term success.

    Which leads me to my next point. If it doesn’t work here, can the Flames then trade him to someone else for what they gave up? The answer is an obvious “no.” There’s no fail safe here. It’s all or nothing, which isn’t what a rebuilding team should be doing.

    Finally, the cost is just not worth it. It’s a risky experiment that could have long term repercussions, and even if he does pan out, I don’t think he makes the Flames a contender, especially vs what the team would be giving up. As others have pointd out, the Flames need to acquire young D and that’s where a trade of assets should occur, not by selling the farm for a player who plays in what’s already an organizational position of strength.

    Frankly, it would make more sense for Edmonton to move some assets for him. They need to win sooner rather than later and Kane’s ‘me-first’ approach would fit in well there. This years first is a non-starter, but the Oil’s 2016 1st, Pouliot and Klefbom?

    Edmonton is welcome to him. Calgary? No thanks.

  • MonsterPod

    If there wasn’t a significant risk that Kane will be a total DB, then I would be willing to trade a stud like Poirier and another piece in the deal.

    But because of his attitude, he is not worth the risk, IMO.

    Let him go rot in some lame market down South. He would probably love Miami.

  • Burnward

    If this trade happens, it has to in the off season. To do anything that might help Winnipeg out, while the Flames are fighting for a playoff spot with them would be crazy.

  • Rockmorton65

    I think the only way the Flames should have interest in Kane is if he IS just immature, and not just the jerk he appears to be. Immaturity can be corrected. Being a douche, not so much. If he is just immature, I think he would do well in Calgary. The Flames have a system in place that the Jets do not. Right now, he is one of their only offensive threats, and he knows it. Up until now, he has been one of their go to guys, regardless of how he acts.

    I think the Flames’ “earned, never given” would work wonders for an elite, yet immature, talent. Gaudreau would be good competition for him. If Kane comes in and works as hard or harder than JH, he gets a spot. If not, he sits. There are enough character guys in the locker room to make sure he gets the message.

    I’d offer Winnipeg fair value for what he is – a very good, young winger with attitude issues, not for the theoretical “former top 5 pick, elite power forward entering his prime”. If that’s what they’re asking for, then forget it.

    I’d go as high as Glencross, Ferland/Reinhart, 2015 2nd, 2016 2nd. (I would avoid giving up a first if at all possible, but if needed I would give them the 2016)

  • Bikeit

    Remember what the Flames got for Marc Savard after things went sour. Sweet nothing. Sorry Jets, players that are at odds with their clubs do not return a premium.