Jets fans breathe sigh of relief following Evander Kane trade
Trade to Buffalo Sabres comes as no surprise, says Jets fan
Wednesday morning saw an end to the recent Evander Kane saga and trade whispers, prompting sighs of relief from many Winnipeg Jets fans.
The Jets sent Zach Bogosian and Kane to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for defenceman Tyler Myers — the NHL's rookie of the year in 2009-10 — and wingers Drew Stafford, Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux, who is the son of former NHL star Claude Lemieux.
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Late Wednesday afternoon, Kane tweeted out a thank you to the Jets and Winnipeg.
Jets fans like Mike Lay expected a blockbuster trade had been in the works.
"Not shocked, not surprised,” said Lay. “I figured it was coming."
Shawn Katz was thrilled with the trade.
“I'm very excited, I think it's a great deal for Winnipeg," said Katz.
Rick Lefort, owner of Uptown Sports in Portage Place, said he started marking down his Kane and Bogosian merchandise right after trade reports were confirmed Wednesday morning.
“Going through my mind was, ‘how much do I have in inventory of each player?’ You have to get rid of whatever you have," said Lefort.
Lefort said Kane jerseys have been on sale since last Friday, but the Bogosian jerseys only went on sale today.
And while some Jets fans are taking advantage of the sales on Bogo gear, others couldn’t be paid to take Kane sales items off of merchants’ hands.
“I don’t think I'm going to buy a Kane jersey even if it's a couple of $50 dollars off or whatever," said Eric Miller.
No stranger to controversy
"Bogosion was more of a shock than Kane. Everybody knew Kane was coming," said Lefort.
"We knew that Kane’s days were [probably] numbered with the Winnipeg Jets with what happened last week … there's been a rumour for probably a year that Kane might get traded, so we haven't brought as much Kane in in the last year."
Kane courted controversy more than once during his time in Winnipeg.
Timeline: Evander Kane and the Winnipeg Jets
In September of 2013, some fans were upset after learning Kane had $650 in unpaid traffic tickets. He had been fined for texting and driving as well as for driving without a licence.
In December of 2014, Kane posted photos on his Instragram account doing push ups with stacks of money on his back, a throwback to a picture he posted on social media three years ago, where he's seen holding bundles of money like a phone.
Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said he's had lots of interest in Kane since last week's blow up in Vancouver, where Kane was benched by coach Paul Maurice.
Kane showed up to a pre-game meeting wearing a track suit, which was a violation of the team’s dress code.
There were reports that teammate Dustin Byfuglien later tossed the track suit into the shower. And then Kane disappeared before the game against Vancouver.
Cheveldayoff insisted the trade decision was made to strengthen the team, and not simply a reaction to last week's events.
"There was an opportunity here to address something right now and to address something for the future, and you factor in lots of decisions when you make a deal of this magnitude," said Cheveldayoff.
Jets fan Andre Vien said he likes Kane as a player, but said it was time for him to move on.
"I mean it just got worse and worse and he was doing so good this year, too,” said Vien. “I think this was kind of like the last straw."