NHL Free Agency: Should the Rangers Extend an Offer Sheet to Evander Kane?

Brandon GudovitzCorrespondent IIJuly 21, 2012

WINNIPEG, CANADA - MARCH 26: Evander Kane #9 of the Winnipeg Jets skates on the ice during warmup before a game against the Ottawa Senators in NHL action at the MTS Centre on March 26, 2012 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images)
Marianne Helm/Getty Images

The New York Rangers have been looking to add a punch to their offensive by adding one more scoring player.  They have made attempts in free agency, from within and via trades.  The one player that has been circling around the Rangers is Rick Nash.  Rick Nash clearly wants out of Columbus and Columbus is willing to part ways with Nash, for a price.  A price so high, no team has been able to close on a deal.  With the Nash talks slowing down, the Rangers might be better off looking elsewhere. 

The Rangers have expressed interest in Shane Doan, as much of the league has.  Doan, while exploring his free-agency options, visited the club.  Doan has already received one offer, a four-year contract in excess of $30 million from an undisclosed team. 

Shea Weber's acceptance of an offer from the Philadelphia Flyers might have opened up the restricted free-agency frenzy.  There are several promising players on the restricted market that are capable of being a vital piece to some team’s puzzle, but who is that player for the Rangers?  That player is not Shane Doan, it is Evander Kane.

Evander Kane is a name that should be known around New York.  He has burned the Rangers numerous times during his brief three-year career.  The Rangers are not the only team on that list.  Kane has that ability to take over games with his physical play and timely goals. 

Evander Kane's transition from Thrasher to Jet didn't go smoothly.  It started as soon as Evander decided to wear the sacred No. 9 sweater, previously worn by Bobby "the Golden Jet" Hull.  Things got even rockier when Kane was often in coach Claude Noel's doghouse.  Things continued in a downward spiral as he was accused of walking out on his dinner bills without paying and then dining and dashing at a local restaurant. Then he was supposedly involved in an altercation at a local bar, suffering a concussion. 

Evander Kane has vocalized that he wants out of Winnipeg.

Even with all the off-ice distraction, Kane has made a name for himself on it as a young player with a great future.  Kane has played in 213 NHL games.  In those games, he has scored 63 goals and 126 points.  But his career stats may be misleading to many who haven’t seen him play.  Last year, Kane achieved a career best in goals (30), assists (27), points (57), and plus/minus (plus-11). 

As many know around the league, the Rangers are a blue-collar team.  They like to block shots, work hard and hit.  Kane has a style of play that would fit perfectly with the current style of the New York Rangers.  He plays a big, physical game. Among all of the other career bests Kane posted last year, he managed one more.  Kane registered 173 hits last season. 

According to hockeysfuture.com, Kane’s skill set is reminiscent of a young Mike Modano.  This former first-rounder has great speed, speed that could pair well with the current Rangers roster.  He has a great shot, one that could hold the Rangers over while Marian Gaborik is out with injury.

It is apparent that the hockey fans of Winnipeg do not take too kindly to Evander Kane's antics.  The Rangers could capitalize on this by prying Kane out of the Jets' hands and bringing him to a new market.  Rangers players have a sense of celebrity to them.  New York and Evander Kane might be a perfect fit.