Trade chatter has not stopped in the past weeks, but one rumor seemed almost forgotten about with all the rumblings on New York Rangers veteran forward Rick Nash, defenseman Ryan McDonagh and now even Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson. What about Buffalo Sabres top forward Evander Kane?
Remember when his name was plastered all over the trade rumors, along with the words: he is surely going to move prior to the trade deadline! We are now five days away for Feb.26 and Kane is still in Buffalo, wondering if he will have to test the free agency as a former Sabre, or if he will have a chance to take part in the postseason, for the first time in his career.
Kane can breathe a little today, as NHL insider Darren Dreger reported on Tuesday night that talks are picking back up for the top forward, during a segment of Insider Trading on TSN.
"Things have picked up this week, no question about that. I believe that Jason Botterill has at least a couple of offers that he might consider but it sounds like there could be more player involvement as opposed to picks and prospects and the Buffalo Sabres are more interested in draft picks or top prospects. There’s time between now and the deadline on Monday and the interest will increase as the days continue."
Back in January, the price tag to land Kane was reported to be very steep. It started out with Pierre LeBrun reporting that Botterill sought a first-round draft pick, a prospect and a conditional pick. Dreger then followed that up in saying there are teams claiming Botterill also wants an NHL roster player included in that package.
Although a trade sending Kane out of Buffalo would be seen as a rental move, a rival club trying to acquire him could also offer him a contract before the kickoff of free agency on July 1st.
However, the market almost seems more favourable for players with terms.
"What a lot of teams are realizing is that the prices on the rentals are so high – first round plus plus – that teams like the Nashville Predators, for example, while they have interest in those rental goal-scoring wingers, they’re also looking at guys that have term on their contract because they might be able to get somebody like a Tomas Tatar from the Detroit Red Wings, who’s got three years left on his deal at $5.3 million for a price that will be less than some of the rentals," explained Bob McKenzie on the same segment on Insider Trading on Tuesday evening.
"Now the Red Wings are not obliged to trade Tomas Tatar but with the Nashville Predators and the Detroit Red Wings playing each other on Tuesday night there’s an opportunity there and there has been conversations between those teams about that player."
The insiders still believe Kane will be on the move in the coming days. Some say the St. Louis Blues and the San Jose Sharks have previously inquired about the top forward. There are still many options and some other teams could jump in now that there is this major change in the Sabres' asking price.