Yeah yeah yeah, I know, totally original topic here, Ben. What can I say? I have a special interest in this guy from British Columbia and his possible connection to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Let me preface this by saying this: I do not want the Toronto Maple Leafs to acquire Evander Kane , or on any NHL team for that matter. I think he’s done more than enough to warrent being unsignable, and that he embodies many of the problems with modern hockey culture to the outside observer.
Having said that, let’s turn back the clock: The date is October 19th, 2011. I was ten years old and my dad surprised me with tickets to a Toronto Maple Leafs game. It would be my first time at the then named Air Canada Centre.
2011 was an interesting time for me. My dad is a Winnipegger, so yeah I picked up my rooting habits from him and would become a Jets fan. Fear not, my fellow Leafs fans, the Buds are still number one.
Toronto Maple Leafs and Evander Kane
We’re both decked out in brand new Jets shirts and we stood near the glass on the Winnipeg side for warmups.
I was 10 years old, so my odds were pretty good to get a puck.
About halfway into warmups, a 20-year-old forward would flip me a puck over the glass, the first time I had ever gotten a puck at an NHL game.
That player was Evander Kane.
He would be my favorite player up until he forced his way out of Winnipeg in 2015. Or rather, Dustin Byfuglien forced him out, and he would end up being traded to Winnipeg South. Or as Americans call it: Buffalo.
I’m telling you this story to show why I wanted to write this piece. This means something to me.
Evander Kane does not belong in the NHL.
Firstly, I’m not disputing his talent. He’s a wonderful hockey player and I loved watching him play as a kid. Physical forwards with the scoring talent that Kane has are hard to find.
Kane’s issues are all off ice. They range from being a locker room problem to forging a vaccination card to being accused by his wife of domestic violence. Not exactly a clean reputation.
Additionally: His teammates don’t like playing with him or being around him.
But don’t take my word for it, read this from The Athletic.
If you want visual proof, no story on Evander Kane’s teammates would be complete without me sharing this hilarious image of Dustin Byfuglien:
And of course the vaccine card thing…
There is just no excuse for that, and I don’t want him on the Leafs.
Thankfully, it seems that the only team willing to bite the Evander Kane bullet would be the Edmonton Oilers, led by their fearless leader Ken Holland.
Ken Holland ran the Red Wings like it was the 90s so it’s only fitting that he’s doing the same with the Oilers. Then this happened: He was endorsed by Connor McDavid.
The most marketable and greatest hockey player in the world looking like a total jerk on an international stage. The NHL is lucky he plays in Edmonton. Imagine if Tavares said this.
Evander Kane’s eventual signing is a ticking timebomb. Good luck, Oilers fans.