I don’t think I can make head or tail of the report that Evander Kane is apparently on the market. I blame Reneau Lavoie of RDS, I think, for posting a vague message on his Twitter account that suggested Kane might want out of Winnipeg:
What’s going on with the Jets ? I hear from a player on Winnipeg that Kane doesn’t want to negotiate a new deal ?
— Renaud P Lavoie (@RenLavoieRDS) June 16, 2012
Not based in Quebec, I can’t say I know too much of the overall outlet from a critical perspective, but anecdotally, I’d suggest that they’re a lot more “miss” than “hit” when it comes to rumours of this magnitude. It may have something to do with a language barrier and a few reports making their way to the desk are lost in translation and not a lack of journalistic due diligence.
As it happens, there are no Québec-born players on the Winnipeg Jets, so an exclusive pipeline to RDS from the Jets’ locker room is pretty out of the question at this point. As of 8:00 a.m. Eastern on Monday morning, there was nothing in either of Winnipeg’s major papers, the “Sun” or the “Free Press”, that Kane was unhappy with his situation.
Secondly, how open is Kane supposed to be about his contract proceedings to his teammates? The whole thing seems kind of fishy to me and I don’t think the Jets would consider for a second to trade Kane.
The thing that separates Renaud Lavoie to any of the fictional insiders is that he’s supposed to do journalistic due diligence before he hits the “send” button on Twitter. As of 8:00 a.m. Eastern on Monday morning, there was no news item on the RDS.ca site that republished Lavoie’s fantasy in any shape or form, so it seems that my hunch that a Québec-based reporter isn’t more connected to the Jets franchise than the entire Winnipeg media is correct.
But that’s a whole new problem, isn’t it? It’s rumour season, and any unsourced tidbit from any major commentator will get looked at, no matter how much sense it doesn’t make. Never mind that Evander Kane is one of the great young players in hockey, and at this point, probably one of the sports’ more under-appreciated talents. Kane is a 30-goal scorer and only 20 years old. If he’s on the market, he’d better be bringing his old team back a better package in return than anything being offered for a 27-year old with similar stats in Rick Nash.
The Nash story gets me going too. Because there’s so much talk about a player currently on the market, many people are too concentrated with the idea of Rick Nash than what Rick Nash actually is, which is an elite goal-scorer who is expensive and nearing the end of his prime. It becomes a “sweepstakes”, like with Justin Schultz.
It’s fun to speculate about what Justin Schultz would bring to your favourite team, but to suggest who his “preferred” teams are before they are allowed to talk to him is ridiculous.
As rumour season comes into full swing, please, consider the source. There isn’t going to be a hockey executive who tells any reporter his plans just because he wants to read the expert opinion contained in the comments section at the bottom of the post. This is what I don’t like about unsourced reporting, and usually when it comes to hockey stories, people don’t like to give out names.
If you know the sources name, you can guess his intent, whether it’s an agent or a management-type looking to drive player value in a certain direction, they can use a couple of friendly faces in the media to do it. It’s a symbiotic relationship, because the reporter gets an inside story and maybe the scoop if anything interesting happens.
Yes, there are fake rumour mongers floating around, but also real ones. Beware both, since generally, the overall plans of an NHL franchise won’t be discussed too openly away from the front office. A source “close to the team” or “close to the negotiations” infers nothing about certain people’s motivation.
For the record, I have no idea what’s going on with Evander Kane’s contract situation, but there’s nothing substantial to suggest that talks have broken down. Just one tweet from a reporter based miles away. Don’t hold your breath.