Price for Evander Kane is out and the Rangers should pay it now
Pierre Lebrun stated on Insider Trading what the Buffalo Sabres want for impending unrestricted free agent, Evander Kane. It starts with a 1st round pick, a prospect, and a conditional pick if Kane re-signs with the team.
Per LeBrun: Sabres asking price on Evander Kane is a 1st round pick, prospect, and conditional pick if he re-signs. Hello #NYR, you need to do this now. #AgainstTheGrain #HeCanScore #UnpopularOpinion #Only26 #BetterThanAnyForwardWeHave -Tilt pic.twitter.com/BFiJtqJ9U1
— Forever Blueshirts (@4EverBlueshirts) January 10, 2018
The Rangers Need Kane
In their last 3 games, the Rangers have mustered only 4 goals. Since Chris Kreider went out with blood clots on December 27th, against Washington, they have scored only 9 goals in 6 games. That’s only averaging 1.5 goals per game over that time period, a paltry number that forces Henrik Lundqvist to be near perfect every night.
To make matter worse, in the last 6 games since CK20 went down, the Rangers leading goal scorer is Mika Zibanejad with just 2. Sadly, no other top 6 forward has a goal during that stretch (Vesey, Lettieri, Desharnais, Miller, Grabner, Carey, Holden).
Rick Nash has not scored in 10 games, and has zero points to boot. Mats Zuccarello has 0 goals in his last 8, but at least has 4 assists. Kevin Hayes also hasn’t scored in 7 games with just 1 assist in that time period. Does anyone not see this as a major problem? Because it is a big one.
Evander Kane has cooled off but would be a great fit
The hulking LW, has only scored 2 times in his last 8 games, but has 16 goals on the year. In 42 games, his 35 points would make him the Rangers leading scorer. What is most intriguing is that his 16 goals represent 17% of the Sabres goals and his 35 points are 14% of all Buffalo’s points. To contrast those numbers, Grabner’s 18 goals for the Rangers represents 14% of all their goals. The disparity is bigger on points where Zuccarello’s 31 points represents 9% of all total points for the Blueshirts.
What does that mean? Simply put, the Rangers are a better offensive team and Kane would likely score even more on Broadway.
Immediately he should be put on a line with Mika Zibanejad and the two of them should light the lamp often. Add Zuccarello on the right side and the Rangers have a legit top line. Rick Nash could help Kevin Hayes find his game on the 2nd line with maybe Pavel Buchnevich rounding the group out. The Rangers need offense and they need it now. Especially with the uncertainty surrounding Chris Kreider’s longterm health.
Is Kane Worth the Asking Price?
If you believe Henrik Lundqvist can win a Stanley Cup in NY, the answer is a resounding yes. That is of course if the prospect is not Filip Chytil or Lias Andersson. Rumor has it the Sabres have been looking for a young defenseman and the Rangers have several worthy prospects. If a 1st rounder, along with one of either DeAngelo, Pionk, or Day gets it done you pull the trigger.
As for re-signing Kane, Nash’s grotesque 7.8M comes off the books this summer which should be given to Kane. Evander is going to be 27 and entering his prime. He is a power forward with speed and an elite shot. On the right team, in the right locker room, he could unlock his full potential.
Should he and Mika find chemistry, a future where he is cracking 40 goals annually is not too far fetched. The Rangers have taken dumber risks, and this one comes with a legitimate high reward.
If you believe the Rangers need a game changer, Evander would be just that. Get it done.