Does Evander Kane still want to play for the Winnipeg Jets?

Rory Boylen
Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane

Either Evander Kane doesn’t care if he’s traded out of Winnipeg – maybe even looking forward to it – or he’s trolling the heck out of Jets fans.

Remember, just two weeks ago Kane was caught favoriting a tweet from a Flyers fan calling on GM Ron Hextall to acquire the young Jets scorer. Whether it was intentional or a slip of the thumb on Kane’s part, this was a pretty incredible sight.

On Tuesday, Kane had an opportunity to shutter any suggestion he is hoping for a move out of Winnipeg, a city that doesn’t seem too interested in hanging on to a soon-to-be 23-year-old with the upside of a 30-to-40 goal scorer. Kane was interviewed on Vancouver’s TEAM 1040 and he didn’t exactly commit to Winnipeg: Read more

Getting to know 2014 NHL draft prospect and Winnipeg Jets pick Nikolaj Ehlers

Ryan Kennedy
Nikolaj Ehlers

Why did the Winnipeg Jets take Nikolaj Ehlers ninth overall in the NHL draft last weekend? THN senior writer and prospect guru Ryan Kennedy takes a closer look at the talented winger in this scouting report, part of a series of videos we did in conjunction with Bleacher Report spotlighting the best players available in the 2014 draft. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Lecavalier, Kane & Gonchar buzz

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The Philadelphia Flyers recent signings (defenseman Nick Schultz, backup goalie Ray Emery and winger Jason Akeson) pushes them above the $69-million salary cap by just more than $3 million. That’s the most of any NHL team this summer, putting pressure on GM Ron Hextall to find a way to become cap compliant before the 2014-15 season starts in October.

Hextall reportedly almost had a deal in place that would have sent center Vincent Lecavalier to the Nashville Predators.  The deal, however, fell through because the Predators wanted the Flyers to pick up half of Lecavalier’s remaining contract. The 34-year-old has four seasons remaining worth $4.5-million annually. He has a full no-movement clause, but his agent was given permission by Hextall to explore trade possibilities with other clubs.

The Philadelphia Daily News reports Hextall and Predators management revisited the possibility of a Lecavalier trade. Another suitor could be the Ottawa Senators. CSNPhilly’s Tim Panaccio reports the Senators want the Flyers to not only pick up part of the Lecavalier’s salary but also want something else included. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Red Wings ‘D’ hunting; Reimer stuck with Maple Leafs?

#34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs stands by the net during a break in action in a game against the Edmonton Oilers on October 29, 2013 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

After striking out in their efforts to land a right-handed defenseman via free agency, the Detroit Red Wings could turn to the trade market to address their need.

Wings GM Ken Holland told Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News his club needs “another defenseman, maybe two,” adding he’ll see what the summer brings. Kulfan speculates Buffalo’s Tyler Myers, Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien and Edmonton’s Jeff Petry could be available.

Ansar Khan of mlive.com also believes the Wings could try to bolster their blueline via the trade market. In addition to Myers, Byfuglien and Petry, Khan lists Washington’s Mike Green and Toronto’s Cody Franson among the right-handed options, along with left-handed shots like Arizona’s Keith Yandle and Vancouver’s Alexander Edler.

The asking price for most of the aforementioned would be expensive, costing the Wings one of their promising young forwards as part of the return. The Wings won’t part with Gustav Nyquist or Tomas Tatar, but clubs could seek Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco or Anthony Mantha. The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson believes if Petry’s available the Oilers must get a young center for him. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Latest big-name UFA buzz

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While the focus in recent days was upon potential trades leading up to the draft, a number of NHL teams are using the free agent interview period to reach out to potential unrestricted free agents.

Interest in Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny is growing. The 28-year-old could become the best player available in the upcoming UFA market if the Avalanche fail to re-sign him before July 1. ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun claims up to 15 teams have contacted Stastny’s agent.

LeBrun claims the Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks are among “the long list of teams” that reached out to the Stastny camp. Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Blues have also expressed interest. Read more

Top 5 defensemen/forwards of all-time (sorry, we couldn’t come up with 10 good ones)

Dustin-Byfuglien-WPG

There was an item that came out of Toronto this week about the Maple Leafs toying with the idea of moving Jake Gardiner from defense to forward.

GM Dave Nonis told the Toronto Sun’s Steve Buffery the club’s brass has ruminated on the notion, since Gardiner had played some of his formative years up front, but indicated it’s not likely to transpire.

And that’s not surprising. At the NHL level, it’s rare for players to move between the back end and forward for a couple reasons.

Read more

Rumor Roundup: Evander Kane for Nail Yakupov?

kane-yakupov (Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images / Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Winnipeg Jets winger Evander Kane remains a fixture in the NHL trade rumor mill. TSN’s Bob McKenzie believes the Jets are open to moving any player on their roster, including the 22-year-old Kane.

That prompted the Edmonton Journal’s David Staples to suggest Kane would be a good fit with the Oilers, citing his size, offensive skills and physical play. He wonders if the Jets would take a smaller skilled winger, like Nail Yakupov, in return.

Since relocating from Atlanta to Winnipeg three years ago, the Jets have failed to secure a playoff berth. Usually cautious Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff recently acknowledged the possibility of swinging a blockbuster trade, but he also noted the difficulty of finding the right deal. Of the players the Jets could shop, Kane would fetch the best return. He’s still young, has a 30-goal season under his belt and his best seasons remain ahead of him.

The Edmonton Sun’s Terry Jones reports Oilers GM Craig MacTavish hopes to add four or five players via trades or free agency to his roster. Kane would be a good fit with the Oilers, but he will also attract considerable interest from other clubs. Despite Yakupov’s promising skills, he hasn’t fully established himself as an up-and-coming NHL star. Should the Jets shop Kane they’ll likely want a player who can help them immediately. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Do the Calgary Flames want Jason Spezza?

Jason Spezza (Photo by Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)

The NHL’s buyout period has begun and runs to 5 p.m. EST June 30. This year is also the final one where teams can use compliance buyouts to shed contracts without the calculation counting against their salary cap.

The Hockey News’ Matt Larkin recently summarized the details of the buyout calculation and provided a listing of teams that have one or both compliance buyouts remaining. Only players under contract prior to Sept. 15, 2012 are eligible for such buyouts.

It’s expected Buffalo Sabres winger Ville Leino will receive such a buyout. The Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports Leino’s agent, Markus Lehto, has had a “few very short discussions” with Sabres GM Tim Murray regarding his client. Vogl notes Murray has said it’s a “very good possibility” the two sides will part ways.

Over the course of the playoffs there was growing speculation the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings could respectively buy out Brad Richards and Mike Richards. Of the pair, Brad is the most likely candidate. The New York Post’s Brett Cyrgalis believes the center will “almost assuredly” be bought out to free up cap space to re-sign several notable free agents, including Mats Zuccarello, Chris Kreider, Derick Brassard and Anton Stralman.

Other compliance buyout candidates could include Columbus’ R.J. Umberger, Dallas’ Erik Cole, New Jersey’s Anton Volchenkov, San Jose’s Martin Havlat, Tampa Bay’s Ryan Malone and Vancouver’s David Booth.

SPEZZA-TO-FLAMES RUMOR BURNS OUT QUICKLY
The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports the Calgary Flames made a pitch for Spezza, offering up Jiri Hudler, Mikael Backlund, possibly defenseman Dennis Wideman and one of their second- or third-round picks. Garrioch considers that offer insufficient and cites sources claiming the Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets are on Spezza’s 10-team “no-trade” list. Read more