Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Evander Kane may be available, but don’t expect Flames to chase him

If you’ve been watching the Calgary Flames this season, it probably wouldn’t shock you to learn that they’re concerned about goal-scoring. Their power play is middle of the road compared to the rest of the NHL’s teams.

With a lot of chatter around the league surrounding pending unrestricted free agent Evander Kane of the Buffalo Sabres, a lot of folks have put two and two together and pondered the possibility of Kane coming to Calgary via a trade.

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In the latest edition of 31 Thoughts, Elliotte Friedman made the connection:

With Kris Versteeg out a long time, Calgary may look for a power-play specialist and someone who brings edge to their game. They feel a little “too nice,” outside of Travis Hamonic, Micheal Ferland, Mike Smith and Matthew Tkachuk. I could see the Flames part of a growing group eyeing Buffalo’s Evander Kane.

It’s an interesting thought, but it doesn’t seem like a fit for a lot of reasons.


Friedman expanded a bit, noting what the Sabres are seeking in return for Kane:

Kane will be highly coveted, and potential pursuers say the Sabres are looking at the 2016 Andrew Ladd and 2017 Martin Hanzal trades as comparables. Ladd went from Winnipeg to Chicago for Marko Dano, a first-round selection and a conditional pick. Hanzal’s move from Arizona to Minnesota (with Ryan White) was for a first, a second and a fourth. The Sabres feel Kane is an even better option, so they will aim higher.

Here’s the first big problem with landing Kane: the Flames don’t have the assets.

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The Flames have no first round pick this year – they sent it to the Islanders in the Travis Hamonic deal. They also have no second round pick this year – also to the Islanders. If the Flames miss the playoffs this year, they have the option of sending this year’s third round pick (or 2019’s) to Arizona as part of the Mike Smith deal. The re-signing of Michael Stone sent this year’s fifth round pick to Arizona as well.

Okay, what about prospects? The only big ticket prospects the Flames have are, arguably, Tyler Parsons, Juuso Valimaki, Adam Fox, Rasmus Andersson and Dillon Dube. It’s extremely unlikely that the Flames would be willing to ship out a high pick or a highly-touted young player for a forward who might be out the door on July 1.

Cap space

Let’s presume that the Flames figure out a way to con Buffalo into making the trade. Could they afford to add Kane? Kane carries with him a cap hit of $5.25 million – if you pro-rate it, he has about $3.2 million remaining. The Flames have roughly $2.338 million in cap space currently. In other words, to bring Kane in they’d have to lose something significant off their roster in order to make the cap space work (and/or to retain some wiggle room).

Unless Buffalo suddenly wants to acquire Matt Stajan or Troy Brouwer, it’d be very difficult to add Kane for his offensive punch without losing offensive punch in the cap moves necessary to make the finances work.

Team fit

The Flames are a team heavy on left-shot forwards. Their top nine forwards include zero right shots when Jaromir Jagr is healthy. Their right shots on the active roster right now are Garnet Hathaway, Curtis Lazar, Freddie Hamilton and Troy Brouwer. If anything, the Flames need right shots.

Kane is a left-shot winger. The Flames are full of left-shot wingers, to the point where Sam Bennett is playing on the third line. Adding another left-shot winger seems like an odd move.

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So, elephant in the room: Kane hasn’t been super, super popular in the NHL stops he’s had so far. And that’s attempting to be extremely charitable.

Reports out of Winnipeg were that he clashed with teammates to the point where Dustin Byfuglien felt the need to send a message:

Kane wore a track suit when the Jets players gathered that morning for a meeting — a violation of team policy. Following a brief workout and stretch, Byfuglien is believed to have thrown those clothes into the shower to send a message to his teammate, according to sources.

In 2014, he was accused of assaulting a Vancouver man and slapped with a lawsuit. In 2016, he faced several charges after an incident involving three women at a Buffalo bar. The Flames have built a lot of their team culture upon good citizenship and community service, and acquiring a guy who’s been involved in this many incidents seems like a terrible fit.

In other words…

There are enough reasons why the Flames probably won’t acquire Kane that it’s probably safe to conclude that it won’t happen.

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  • Kevin R

    Kane should be the last guy we look at. Tre should be on the phone to Winnipeg to see if they can work out the pieces of a deal that exchanged Brodie for Trouba(pending RFA) We need to sandpaper that can play D & I truly think Brodie would thrive in Winnipeg.

    Also, before we make any big trade for a forward, they need to break up that 3M line & tinker with the group we have. The stubbornness we have been seeing with the PP & lines is causing complacency & entitlement in that locker room & their on ice performance shows. Just getting sick & tired of watching this over & over & over. As for Kane, just say “No”!!!

  • The GREAT WW

    Mark Stone is a much better option.
    A year younger.
    An inch taller.
    Right shooting RW instead of LW.
    Same number of goals.
    $1.75 M cheaper.
    Is a RFA next year, not a UFA.

    And will probably cost less to get and will resign cheaper; $3.5 again, Like his brother…..

    And not an idiot……


    • Why do you want my name?

      My cousin is a Scout for Buffalo, says Kane is not a detriment in the locker room and guys there like him. People do stupid $hit especially when they have lots of money, people also grow up. G.Hamilton was also marked as not a team player and a bit of a dick. Patrick Kane has had some pretty questionable moments, are you writing the guy off based on what you have read, as opposed to what you actually know, or is it based on skin color? Be honest. Because Kane is a very good player, and it would be a shame to overlook those qualities because he made some immature choices in his past or even worse, because of racial prejudice. I wonder how far you guys would be in life if your present employeer based your character on all the immature things you did in your late teens and early twenties.

  • Crazy Flames

    Call Hextall for Wayne Simmonds. Gritty right shot with skill. $4 million for this season and one more. Unfortunately he is 29 so he is not gonna be as good under his next contract….

  • Burnward

    One thing to remember too is this is Gio’s team. He’s about as quality a leader as you can find. Kane will be a part of this team with something to strive for, not a gong show.

    • Primo

      I like Gio….based on your post specifically tell me if you can what Gio’s leadership has brought to the inconsistent Flames during the last 6 weeks…..Flame currently out of a wildcard spot…pls don’t blame GG….

  • Lucky 13

    I agree that we should be addressing our need for a top 6 RW.
    However, in saying that, we would have to ship out one of our D. We have enough prospects in our system to hopefully offset the hole in creates.

    Nothing in our current forwards are going to give us the return we seek, our D is the only option.

    Who’s the trade bait? Definitely not our 1st pairing of Gio and Hamilton. That leaves Hamonic RD, Brodie LD (M-NTC) , Stone RD(M-NTC),and Kulak LD

    Our hands may be tied due to M-NTC, unless Stone or Brodie have agreed to be traded—teams they are willing to be moved to.
    From what I understand, it is 16 teams in Stone’s case and 23 teams for Brodie.

    I doubt Treliving is going to move Hamonic after all the picks he gave up for him. Not sure about Kulak, but he’s been nothing short of reliable and trustworthy. Treliving trading him doesn’t make sense.

    This looks like smoke -and mirrors- I don’t know if we have the capacity to make any significant changes this season, unless we pick- pocket a desperate team (GM) looking for
    a shake up.

    I’d rather address our less than adequate coaching staff (GG and Cameron) as opposed to making trades at this time.

    Hopefully the New Year brings in a better outlook?

  • T&A4Flames

    “Reports out of Winnipeg were that he clashed with teammates to the point where Dustin Byfuglien felt the need to send a message:”.
    Initially I say no to Kane because of this stuff, but really, maybe we need that 1 ? disturber type in the room to keep them a bit more on edge instead of too comfortable.

  • Greg

    1. It’s a long shot. But then again, BT has a history of pulling off the long shot trades, so half of me expects something big before TDL.

    2. Bennet strikes me as the most likely trade asset. We can’t afford to move more futures, but he’s (a) buried on the depth chart for both LW and C and (b) has enough potential still to be a significant piece for a team looking to keep rebuilding. If you could swap him to land a legit top RW (can Kane play RW?), and that moves Ferland down to the third, you don’t lose anything on your depth either. I could see that if the flames are thinking they are really in their window now.

    I don’t think you do it for a rental, and maybe not at all if Kane is a legit nut job, but if it’s a sign and swap deal, I could see a Bennet + Kylington + Brouwer for Kane + something (3rd?) working for both teams.

  • BendingCorners

    It probably won’t happen but Hamonic for EKane would justify the draft picks BT spent on Hamonic. Rasmussen may be not quite ready but I’d like to see him again along with Wotherspoon. If need be Brodie could move back to RD and play with Kulak or Wotherspoon.
    Strong defence and a stronger offence.
    Still need better coaches I think. Teams are so close together talent-wise under the cap that the off-ice talent is more important than ever. GG and DC just don’t measure up.

    • Heeeeeere's Johnny!

      NFW on Hamonic for Kane. Would you trade all those picks for a Kane rental? Because that is what this proposal is equivalent to. I’d walk away from that all day…

      • BendingCorners

        My bad. I thought he had another year still on his contract. Then again, win one Cup and who cares? It’s been 28 years since the last (first) one.
        Maybe WW’s lust for Mark Stone should be slaked. Hamonic for the younger Stone, who is still just an RFA so BT can squeeze a bit.
        I like Hamonic by the way. I just don’t think he provides the defensive steadiness that Brodie needs in a partner and I suspect that Wotherspoon or Rasmussen would, whatever their other limitations.

        • flames2015

          Hamonic and Brodie have been looking pretty good the last few games. Look how long it took dougie to get it together coming from the east to west. Gg’s system are more to blame for brodies lack of offense. The pair is coming togethet defensively

      • HOCKEY83

        Plus you’d have to give more in that deal because Hamonic doesn’t come close to getting Kane. He’s certainly not proven he’s worth the first round pick that got him to Calgary. Mediocre at best.

  • Primo

    Sabres are rebuilding…they will want BOTH high draft choices and high end end prospects…means Flames are not in the running….the Hamonic and Lazar trades have taken care of that…..

  • johnny4prez

    I like a stone or Kane trade my two thoughts on how the trade would be the Calgary would definitely want some sort of pick back so with Kane I could see a package of maybe
    Kane and 4th for Dube and Hammer/Stone
    would suck to lose dube but big add for this year and maybe future if we were to choose to resign. For Stone the price would be less but I think a Brodie for Stone one for one would benefit both sides.

  • Ktop

    I don’t think we need to trade anyone. If Vegas, a team full of players no one want, can win. We have no excuse not to win. It’s coaching, this’s the best team we have had in years.

    #1 goalie
    Elite player Johnny
    #1 center
    6 good D

    the only thing that’s not great is our RW. Look at what Pitt won with. That team wasn’t perfect.

  • freethe flames

    Before we go trading assets we don’t have how about giving some of our prospects a chance ahead of some of pensioners. Also the problem with the PP also goes beyond the system and the players on the unit; effort is required and sometimes I see no effort.

  • Stockton's Finest

    Heat lose in overtime 4-3. Interesting that the Flames send Lack down here to work on his game, yet only has played twice, going 1-0-0-1, while Gillies has gone 3-2-1-0. This is a clear sign on where Lack stands in the organization. They will ship him out at first chance. Too bad; he may be better than Gillies if he ever gets a chance.

      • Stockton's Finest

        As many have said before, I think this has to do with the Flames drafting him as opposed to trading for Lack or signing Rittich as a free agent.

        I also think they are committed to give him the net as much as possible.
        It will be a huge sign if Huska trots him back out tonight in a back-to-back situation. I would assume that Lack gets the crease tonight since he hasn’t played in 2 weeks (December 1st in a shootout lost to Bakersfield).

        My views on Gillies have not changed. He gets beat top side, has rebound control issues (been getting better of late), and is slow to get back to his skates. Getting beat high is a sure sign of him going down fast, something I assume being 6’5″ tall is a factor.

        Rittich has a tendacy to go down quick but he has the speed and skill to get back into position. Gillies does not.

        I have not seen Lack in person, as the 2 games he has played were in Tucson and Bakersfield, but from the little I have seen in highlights or on TV, he would be a better fit for this team.

        • Stockton's Finest

          To further my point, according to the recap on the Heat website, it shows that Gillies was beat “blocker side high” on 2 goals and “goalie glove side” on a third one. Tells me 3 of 4 shots beat him high. It also tells me that other teams know that. Until he fixes that, he will remain in Stockton.

  • The Swell Brother

    The flames don’t need Evander Kane, they do need to get rid of one defenseman to free up some cap space and get some prospects back. Dougie Hamilton is the guy. All the tools but no tool box .

    • Burnward

      Gaudreau, Monahan, Ferland, Tkachuk, Bennett, Jankowski could already be the top-six. The oldest is 25.
      On defense there Kylington, Anderson, Fox, Valimaki that are all exceptional talents.
      In goal there is Rittich, Gillies and Parsons.

      The need for young players/prospects is important, but there is no reason to weaken this team for magic beans.

  • Just.Visiting

    There are no circumstances in which I’d want him on a team.

    I suppose the bright side to the Flames management is that it would distract attention from the coaching staff and abject continued failure of the PP.