For starters, Kane is a restricted free agent, so he stands to get the best deal from his current employer. To leave Winnipeg, he would have to receive an offer sheet from another team, which doesn't happen often, then have it not matched by the Jets (not likely to happen). Does anyone really think the 20-year-old Kane, who scored a team-leading 30 goals last season, is going to leave money on the table to sign elsewhere? Besides all that, there are other reasons for Kane to stay with the Jets.
Does he really dislike Winnipeg?I can't believe -- or maybe I don't want to believe -- that Kane dislikes Winnipeg. I know, it gets really cold here in the winter and mosquitoes take over in the summer. But hockey rules in the River City. During the National Basketball Association Finals, sports fans here were talking about hockey. The same goes for all the other sports season. That sure beats playing in Atlanta, doesn't it?
Yes, his name was dragged through the mud last season. Rumors spread on social media that he was not, let's say, paying his dues. He temporarily ended up in coach Claude Noel's doghouse for his lack of preparedness and effort on the ice. This could happen anywhere. But these are forgivable offenses for a young athlete, too. Forgive and forget. Jets fans will do that. If Kane was offended, so should he.
The future is brightThe Jets have stockpiled promising, young talent and have a management team that's committed to winning (see Ondrej Pavelec's new contract for proof). There is no doubt in my mind that this team is moving in the right direction. Kane is on the rise, too (I've written about his star quality before). If he returns to Winnipeg, this is his team and his chance to do something special.
Don't get me wrong, Kane deserves to get paid top dollar. His goals and assists have increased in each of his first three seasons in the league. I'm not suggesting he give the Jets a hometown discount. However, there are some things money can't buy. Winnipeg's love is one of them.
Adam Martini is a freelance sportswriter and supporter of all Winnipeg sports teams. He no longer dreads Winnipeg winters now that the Jets have returned to town. You can follow Adam on Twitter @PegCitySports.Sources