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Is The Evander Kane “Act” Leading to Offseason Trade Talk?

Evander Kane is experiencing his longest goal-scoring drought ever. This, accompanied by a perceived negative attitude has led to trade talk.

Amid the longest goal-scoring drought of his NHL career, Evander Kane looked much more engaged against both the Winnipeg Jets and Los Angeles Kings this week. Having been sat for what the Edmonton Oilers called a “maintenance day”, a clearly frustrated Kane showed up and started crashing and banging, creating multiple opportunities. The Oilers won both games. Yet, discussion about Kane’s “act” is a hot topic in Oilers Nation. Some believe it might be leading to offseason trade talk.

More than one journalist and insider has commented on Kane’s attitude and how he’s not producing despite his high price tag. When effective, there’s no complaining about Kane. He’s exactly the kind of forward the Oilers need and loves having on the roster, especially against bigger and tougher teams. He’s building some chemistry with Corey Perry and Ryan McLeod and it’s a matter of time before Kane scores. But, when he’s not on, his attitude isn’t ideal.

Kane wears his emotions on his sleeve. He’s not shy about making comments regarding his playing time or the decisions his coaching staff makes. Sometimes he’s subtle, sometimes he’s not. More often than not, however, it’s obvious he’s unhappy. It’s the way Kane has always been and while some call it his competitive spirit, others find the behavior tiring.

Are the Oilers Getting Tired of His “Act”?

Frank Seravalli recently noted that the “act” is wearing thin in Edmonton. He called it a tale as old as time, where Kane arrives in a new city, things are great and, like a coach whose message no longer resonates and is moved on, Kane gets on everyone’s nerves. Seravalli said there will probably come a time where, before Kane’s contract is set to expire, the Oilers look to get out from under that deal.

Evander Kane Edmonton Oilers trade talk

Meanwhile, Adam Proteau of The Hockey News thinks that the move could come as early as this summer. He writes:

While he has a full no-trade clause until the last season of the current deal (according to PuckPedia), Edmonton brass may quietly approach Kane this coming summer to see if it makes sense for both sides to move him to another team… If Kane is a passenger the rest of the season and in the playoffs, Oilers management will have to revisit Kane’s future with the franchise this summer.

Evander Kane Has Responded Since Being Sat

While few believed the maintenance day was exclusively about maintenance, to Kane’s credit he has responded. He’s not scored since returning, but he’s been engaged, and physical, and on Thursday, he set the tone with a huge attempted hit on Drew Doughty. It was called a tripping penalty, but it was a difference-maker in the game and it happened right away. The Kings never really got into a rhythm, which was huge for the Oilers in a 4-1 victory.

If Kane can pot a goal or two, he could explode with a number of goals in a row; he’s streaky that way. Should that happen, everyone talking about a trade right now might be talking about how important Kane is to the success of the Oilers.

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