Evander Kane needs shoulder surgery
4-6 months of recovery time expected for Jets forward
The Winnipeg Jets will make their push for the playoffs without forward Evander Kane.
He will undergo left shoulder surgery and be out for four to six months, head coach Paul Maurice said Friday.
Kane, a former 30-goal scorer, has 10 goals and 12 assists in 37 games this season. He was a healthy scratch for Winnipeg's 3-2 overtime loss in Vancouver on Tuesday.
Kane's agent, Craig Oster, said the forward considered undergoing surgery last summer but decided to rehabilitate the injury instead. When Kane missed practice Thursday, Maurice said the winger was seeing team doctors for an undisclosed ailment that has bothered him all season.
Reports initially indicated Kane was benched because he broke the team's dress code by wearing a track suit instead of a suit to a team meeting.
"The decision to have surgery ... is based simply on health reasons, nothing more," Oster told The Canadian Press in a phone interview.
The benching only heightened speculation about Kane's long-term future with the club. A source confirmed to The Canadian Press that Kane had a run-in with teammates the day of the Vancouver game that included Dustin Byfuglien throwing Kane's track suit into the shower.
"The event itself — I think there's been a terrible amount of speculation and rumours in terms of what may or did happen," Oster said. "I don't know the facts. I don't know that anybody really knows all of the facts so I really don't have anything to comment (on) because I refuse to speculate about it."
Kane also missed a game in Toronto last season after Maurice benched him for another undisclosed reason.
"So I have the option of telling you everything that I know and then control the spin on it or I have the option of handling it the way I want the hockey team to handle it and protect everybody involved," Maurice said earlier this week.
"Evander Kane is a Winnipeg Jet, so is every other guy in that locker room. So, this, Evander Kane not playing [was] my decision."
The 23-year-old Vancouver native has also raised eyebrows with photos he posted on social media showing him talking into a stack of cash instead of a cellphone and doing a pushup with a bundle of money on his back.
Kane hasn't asked for a trade, Oster said.
"He continues to be a Winnipeg Jet and will be until his contract expires or until he's traded," Oster said.
The 26-18-9 Jets hold the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference with 61 points. The Canucks are two points behind but have three games in hand.
Kane was placed on the injured reserve list retroactive to Monday. He is now expected to be placed on long-term injured reserve.
The Jets could still trade Kane while he's injured, but the other team would have to sign off on his injury.