According to a report from PGH Hockey Now’s Dan Kingerski, the Pittsburgh Penguins have real interest in acquiring Buffalo Sabres power forward Evander Kane.
In his latest column, Kingersky runs through all of the Penguins’ trade options ahead of the NHL’s February 26th trade deadline. At the top of the team’s list, it would seem, is Kane. In fact, the team reportedly sent top executive Jason Karmanos, VP of Hockey Operations, to Buffalo last weekend to personally scout Kane.
The Penguins sent VP of Hockey Operations Jason Karmanos to Buffalo last weekend. The deadline is fast approaching and time is short. It’s improbable Karmanos’ trip north on I-79 (and east on I-90) was a joyride.
Kane is enjoying a terrific season on a dreadful team this year. The 26-year-old former 4th overall draft pick has 18 goals and 38 points in 57 games with the hard luck Sabres this season. He put up 28 goals just a season ago and, when he’s on top of his game, can be a deadline offensive threat.
With a $5.25 million cap hit however, he could be tough to shoe horn under the Penguins’ salary cap. If the Penguins ship some salary back to the Sabres in a potential move for Kane, say Ian Cole and his $2.1 million contract or Carl Hagelin and his $4 million contract, then they can make things work. If the Sabres are uninterested though, things could get tricky.
The good news is that Kane is set to hit the open market as a free-agent this summer. If the Penguins are insistent on adding him to their roster long-term, they’d be smart to wait until the offseason so that they aren’t required to surrender any additional assets. Still… a healthy Evander Kane in the Penguins lineup makes them an AWFUL lot scarier come the postseason. Can Penguins GM Jim Rutherford pull another rabbit out of his hat?