After days of speculation and rumour mongering, Evander Kane has finally found a home, and he is getting PAID. The NHL misfit has struggled to find a team since arriving in the league in 2009, but has displayed flashes of excellence and elite scoring ability. His career has been plagued by poor decision making off the ice, with incidents involving everything from track suits to law suits.
Ultimately, Kane has been having fun, much like any young, 20 something year old would while making millions of dollars a year. However, there is a code NHL players live by and you are not suppose to put yourself above the team -- ever. Big Buff felt that Kane had a hard time understanding that, and took a page out of Eden Hall's Varsity hockey team's book with an act of hazing that would put anyone in their place - just not Evander.
After Buff threw Ek9's tracksuit in the shower for breaking team rules and wearing one to a team meeting. Kane responded by not showing up to the game that night. That was the final straw, and a few days later he was packing his bags for Buffalo.
In Buffalo, he shared a similar experience to his days with the Jets. In his first season with the Sabres, he received a team suspension for sleeping in during a practice, after being spotted at the NBA All-Star weekend in Toronto. He followed that up by getting arrested at a bar in downtown Buffalo, during an altercation where he allegedly grabbed 3 women. And he did all that while maintaining a social media presence that triggered many.
I certainly understand how this behavior doesn't sit well with many, however, the charges against the women were dismissed and everything else seems like a maturity issue, which evidently changes over time.
But here's where he crossed the line, cheating on former cyber playmate of the year and current playboy bunny, but most importantly, my long-time friend, Khloe Terae.
After that jaw-dropping news, you're probably thinking two things:
1. How can Evander cheat on this goddess? What a scumbag.
2. Does Steven really have a decade-long friendship with a former playmate of the year?
Haters will say its fake...
But since I know Khloe so well, I'm aware Kane and her weren't exactly Romeo and Juliet, and the break up was probably for the better. So I've forgiven Kane for doing my homegirl like that.
San Jose was also willing to put EK9's past behind and rolled the dice, trading for him at the trade deadline this year. With high risk comes high reward, and Kane won over San Jose immediately, earning himself an annual salary of 7m a year for the next 7 years.
Kane was able to score 14 points in his final 17 games with San Jose, including his first career hat-trick scored on March 26 against Calgary. Shortly after posting his first career hat-trick, he experienced his first taste of playoff hockey, where his fast-paced, hard-hitting game translated well in the intensity of the post-season.
After Kane signed his new contract Thursday morning, it was put under the microscope by all experts immediately. Many who believe too much and too long.
Evander Kane had 3 simple, logical requests for his new team this season: Money, chance to win, lifestyle. All 3 boxes which San Jose checks off.
His new lifestyle in San Jose will be far different than the major hockey markets that Winnipeg and Buffalo have to offer. A lifestyle that will possibly keep Kane off the grid and not noticed by everyone in the city, where he finds himself in the slammer of downtown Buffalo after bar altercations.
But most importantly, San Jose offers a chance to win. Kane is now in an environment where he is wanted and has been showered with praise from teammates and coaches, foreign territory for him. To play your first 8 seasons in the NHL with little room for error, on teams where you know you're not wanted by players or staff, but still have 30 goal seasons, with several +20 goal seasons, is nothing less than impressive. At 7m a year, his expectations have definitely increased, but I have no doubt that he will be able to achieve and/or exceed them in the Bay Area.
At only 26, Kane is surrounded by the most talent he has ever been a part of. He led the NHL in goals for players with over 150 hits this year, a stat that is strongly undervalued. Veterans like Jumbo Joe have decided to take a pay cut to keep the right group around (aka EK9). Kane hasn't felt this type of appreciation since his playing days with his hometown Vancouver Giants, where he won the WHL and the Mem cup.
At 38, Joe Thornton may be one of the most decorated hockey players to not win a cup. He is making the sacrifices required to change that and I believe that Evander Coin will follow suit.
After this years Stanley Cup fairy tales wrap up, the hockey world will likely resume normally, and you can probably expect a team like San Jose and Pittsburgh to be here in June next year.