Evander Kane: Winnipeg Jets Star Struggling with KHL Club

WINNIPEG, CANADA - FEBRUARY 17: Evander Kane #9 of the Winnipeg Jets warms up on the ice before a game against the Boston Bruins in NHL action at the MTS Centre on February 17, 2012 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images)
Marianne Helm/Getty Images
Anthony CapocciContributor IOctober 12, 2012

Since acquiring forward Evander Kane last week, the Dinamo Minsk of the KHL have played five games with losses in the previous four prior to their most recent game. However, on Thursday night, they finally won their first game since the Kane signing.

The only problem or concern here is that Kane was not playing in the game. He was a healthy scratch.

Since Kane was acquired by the Minsk, he has played in four games, but failed to register a single point in all of those games combined. In fact, the only statistics he has to show for are penalty minutes with 16 and shots on goal with 14. He’s been held in check for the most part, and frustration on behalf of the Minsk organization may have resulted in the recent scratch.

Other than a game misconduct, Kane has been completely invisible in the KHL. Granted, he’s only played in four games with his new club, but there has to be some slight concern for the young forward, right?

We should not dig into this too deep. Not yet and probably never since the only thing that Jets fans care about is what he does in the NHL.

Kane is still adjusting to a new environment and the most important factor is that, yes, hockey is still a team game—even in the KHL. Outside of Kane and Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, there are not many other notables on the Minsk roster. Even Rinne can’t save the team all by himself.

Sure, Kane hasn’t produced in four games, but that’s all it is—four games. Kane’s lack of production should not result in an immediate scratch. Instead, the Minsk should be questioned here for signing probably the best forward they’ll see on their roster the entire season, and scratching him four games in.

I don’t know what statement they’re trying to make, but it should not start with a Kane benching. Give the young forward the time on ice he deserves.

Kane has potential to be an elite-level player at the NHL level. Even so, signing him to a KHL team does not automatically make it the best team ever since it was a mediocre team to begin with. Kane should make the Minsk a better team than before, but he has not shown it yet.

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