Vancouver Canucks Daily Rumblings: Cue the Kane Speculations

Mar 16, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane (9) during the game against the Montreal Canadiens at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 16, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane (9) during the game against the Montreal Canadiens at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Vancouver Canucks are searching for an additional left winger and homeboy Evander Kane is an option.

Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning wants a left winger to support Sven Baertschi. One of the options is Evander Kane, but there are several issues surrounding this potential move.

Meanwhile, the Canucks signed an undrafted QMJHL forward who is apparently the kind of player who somewhat frequently makes it to the NHL.

Depth, Depth, Depth

Ryan Biech — Canucks Sign Michael Carcone to Three Year Entry Level Contract

"As mentioned in J.D.’s post and in my development camp preview, about 15.2% of comparable players to Carcone went onto being NHL regulars. Which is a very good percentage for a player that cost nothing to the Canucks other than a contract spot and money."

You can accuse Jim Benning of being bad at trading and not having a plan all you want. But he is really making the best of the situation he is in. When you don’t have the assets to trade for star players like Tyson Barrie or P.K. Subban, you try to find diamonds in the rough by signing players no one else has on the radar.

One of those players is undrafted forward Michael Carcone, who attended the Canucks’ prospect development camp and was also on the roster for that of the Florida Panthers. Despite being 20 years old, Carcone has only played two seasons of major junior, and was never even considered to be drafted. A late bloomer, he now looks like a solid NHL prospect.

In his two QMJHL seasons, Carcone combined for 59 goals and 130 points in 116 games. While that doesn’t tell you too much about his probability of success, 15.2 percent of comparable players have gone on to play in the NHL, according to Canucks Army. That number may seem low to you, but for an undrafted player, it is actually quite high.

We can’t expect Carcone to jump into the NHL and make an impact, and we don’t even know if he can make an impact in Utica right away. But fact is, the Canucks have another promising forward in the system who at worst creates some competition in the AHL.

Yes or No to Evander Kane

Cam Tucker — NBC Sports: Canucks would like to ‘add a proven scorer,’ so cue the Evander Kane speculation

"Benning has admitted in the past he’d be interested in Kane, apparently making an offer to the Jets. However, when Kane was dealt to Buffalo, Benning said he wasn’t willing to part with prospect forwards Bo Horvat, Jared McCann or Virtanen to facilitate a deal.That was well over a year ago.Since then, Kane has run into multiple off-ice issues. He was not charged following an investigation into a sexual encounter, but only a few months later, he’s now facing non-criminal harassment charges stemming from an incident on June 24."

The Vancouver Canucks want help in the middle six to support Sven Baertschi on the left wing. As I said yesterday, I believe that is a good idea. The new forward wouldn’t steal ice time from Baertschi, as a reader claimed in the comments. Instead, he would play the tough minutes while Baertschi gets lots of offensive-zone starts and easier match-ups, allowing him to further develop his skills.

Evander Kane is one of the players whose names have been floating around, not only because Jim Benning admitted he was interested in Kane in the past. The primary reasons why some think Kane would be a good fit is that he is a proven scorer and a Vancouver native.

More from Canucks News

If your immediate reaction to reading “he is a proven scorer” was “uhh what?”, you are probably not alone either. Kane scored career highs in goals and points in the 2011-12 season, with 30 goals and 57 points, but he has struggled to repeat that ever since. Last season, he only had 20 goals and 35 points.

But wait, “only” 20 goals and 35 points? With those numbers, Kane would have ranked third in goals and fifth in points on the Canucks, with seven more points than Baertschi in four fewer games. Being just one year older than Baertschi, Kane has seven full NHL seasons under his belt, versus Baertschi’s one. Kane is a proven player regardless of off-ice issues.

So, if Benning is willing to look past Kane’s off-ice issues, Kane could exactly the player Benning wants. He is only 24 years old but is a veteran of seven NHL seasons. He can score and be physical and play the tough minutes Benning wants to shelter Baertschi from. It’s perfect.

However, if Benning isn’t willing to look past those off-ice issues — and I personally wouldn’t be — Kane definitely isn’t the right fit. The Canucks’ fan base is divided, and both sides have a point. But even once a decision on Kane is made, we have to remember: Kane isn’t a free agent. And trading for a young, proven scorer like Kane won’t be cheap, regardless of off-ice issues.

Next: Second-Line Help: Kane vs. Hartnell

Trades are rarely win-wins. The team that wants a player, in this case the Canucks, usually have to overpay. If the Buffalo Sabres were offering Kane to the Canucks, things would look different. But since there is no information that that could be the case, it looks like Vancouver might have to overpay.

As always, they probably cannot afford that.