This is no surprising news to anyone who has been following hockey in the last months : Buffalo Sabres top forward Evander Kane has been on the trade block and the Feb. 26 deadline is fast approaching for the pending free agent.
However, there might be a major issue in the way for Kane and Sabres general manager Jason Botterill, as the forward is hoping to move to a Cup contender. But NHL insider Bob McKenzie has revealed a concern on the market that might mean that the Sabres could lose Kane for nothing this summer, or could get less than they first had hoped when speculation of his availability was made public.
McKenzie explains that several teams are still fighting for a playoff spot, and until they are sure of reaching the postseason, they might not want to bid on a rental player. Kane is set to hit the unrestricted free agency this summer, and could scare off clubs still fighting for playoff contention.
However, the latest price on Kane might be worth it for clubs looking to add a strong forward, such as the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues. McKenzie confirms the the Sabres are seeking a high pick, such as a first or second rounder, and a top prospect, as Buffalo is hoping to build a strong future around Jack Eichel.
Has his value been compromised?
But could there be a bigger problem in the way for the Sabres with the recent chaos that took place in Buffalo? Some teams might be waiting to bid on Kane, but what if the recent incident during a morning drill has affected his value and reminded rival clubs that the 26-year-old is a controversial player, on and off the ice.
On Wednesday, Kane and Justin Falk got into a heated fight during practice as Falk told Kane he was "selfish" during the team's skate. The incident took place after Kane injured one of his own teammate during a drill.
Video by Ted Goldberg of the Buffalo Spectrum News shows Kane checked Zach Bogosian into the boards as he skated with the puck behind the net during a drill. Bogosian stayed on his feet but fell to the ice with Kane a few moments later in the corner of the rink. He was unable to put weight on his left leg as he left the ice. It was later confirmed that he will miss up to six weeks of action.
Kane is no stranger to controversy, having already alienated himself with his Winnipeg Jets teammates so much so that Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff was forced to trade Kane following an incident with Dustin Byfuglien.
We will see if the recent incident will push the Sabres to move him sooner than later, and if rival teams will be reluctant to add him to their roster...
To be continued.
For now, Kane has told fans he is taking a few days off to relax... but appears to be ready to take on the heat. #bringontheheat