It seems that I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent last post (and perhaps the one before that, too). It seems that I’ve gone crazy with freedom during the winter break. But the thought did occur to me that one, if not both, of the first-year journalism instructors at Red River College might have torn my last post to shreds if I attempted to hand it in to them as a serious paper… But it also occurred to me that I was (perhaps) writing for myself, and having fun whilst doing so, and it seems they don’t teach that in school.
Will he be missed from now until February?
But that’s enough about that. My focus today is Evander Kane.
Kane will become an unrestricted free agent in 2018. He’s currently in the middle of a six year, $31.5M contract. Some quick calculations puts him at $5.25M per season. When you divide that by 82 games per season, it gives you just over $64,000. Evander Kane makes more money per game than most blue-collar Winnipegger’s do in a year.
But that’s an easy pill to swallow, considering he’s a pro hockey player. I don’t mean to assume most Winnipeggers are losing sleep over the fact that some of the Jets are making more in one minute of ice-time than some labourers do in a month of back-breaking, thankless work.
Which brings me to my next calculation: the salary of Evander Kane per minute of ice-time. Kane has logged an average of just over 19 minutes of ice-time per game in the past five. In those five games he’s managed to score a third of his total goals on the season. Now, don’t get to excited, because he only has six. Which means, in the past five games he’s only scored two goals, with a total of five points. Which doesn’t sound so bad until you realize that he contributed nothing except two penalty minutes in the loss to the Flyers, and (somehow) ended up a -1 with no points in the 5-1 slaughter of the Blackhawks.
There I go ranting away again like some beer-fueled statistics nerd. Here are the bones of it all: of Kane’s 64,024 well-earned dollars per game—based on the aforementioned averages—he makes roughly $3,304 per single minute of ice-time. This is almost more than I made rough necking in a warehouse for a full month while maxing out my allotted over-time hours. (These numbers are, of course, approximate and subject to error as they’re based on calculations that I personally made on my calculator app.)
Of Kane’s 26 games played this season, he has 15 points (6 goals, 9 assists). He also has 46 penalty minutes.
According to spotrac.com, Evander Kane is in the salary company of NHLers like Zach Parise who, in 28 games, has 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists); John Tavares who, in 35 games, has 31 points (15 goals, 16 assists); Joe Pavelski who, in 36 games, has 30 points (17 goals, 13 assists); Ryan Callahan who, in 32 games, has 28 points (11 goals, 17 assists).
Most impressive member of the makes-as-much-money-as-Kane club is Joe Pavelski with his humble 17 goals on the season. If Kane were to have that many goals at this point in the season, it would take the Jets from 21st on the goals for chart, with 90, to tied for 9th with the Washington Capitals at 101. The Jets would be flanked by St. Louis and Detroit. But more importantly, this would put the Jets in the company of such scoring machines as the Pittsburg Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, Calgary Flames and the Anaheim Ducks. And more than likely, the Jets would be a few notches higher in the Western Conference standings as well, however that sounds like speculation to me…
My attempt here is not to suggest that the fate of the Jets this season rests on the well-sculpted shoulders (by constant doing money-stack pushups) of Evander Kane. Nor am I suggesting that he is the reason the Jets are not reaching their full potential this season. Instead, it is to illustrate a certain inadequacy in the contract and salary department of team management. For reasons that probably made sense a few years ago when resigning this first-round draft pick, they made the decision to pay Kane big league money to stay in Winnipeg, hoping that this would persuade him to step up his game. But after a few seasons of Kane being invisible on the ice—and hopelessly inept at thinking while playing hockey—it may be time for Cheveldayoff to consider cutting his losses, gaining more room under the cap and acquiring new blood in the off-season.
Who knows, Kane might find a good fit somewhere warmer, like Florida; or better yet, Arizona…I hear the fans down there are top notch.