Winnipeg Jets: The Kane Scrutiny Is Ridiculous

The Kane Scrutiny Is Ridiculous — 

Ask an editor or news scavenger what he/she thinks of Evander Kane and he/she will tell you it was love at first sound byte.

Evander Kane1That’s because Kane is a godsend to them on a slow news day.

Trust me, I know of these matters. I can tell you that newspaper management gather at some point during the day and they put all their pointy, little heads together to determine what stories they’ll run, how they’ll play them and how they’ll slant them.

It goes something like this…

“So, what have we got today?” begins the managing editor.

“Nothing. There’s not a damn thing going on out there,” replies the sports editor.

“Nothing? There can’t be nothing. There’s gotta be something. Hasn’t Evander Kane done anything stupid today?”

“Well, he did rescue a mother, a father, three children and the family pooch from a house fire.”

“That’s it? All he did was save lives? He saved the lives of five people and some mangy dog? There’s no story there. There’s gotta be more to it than that. There’s gotta be a hook so we can put some nasty spin on the thing.”

“Well, after the fire was put out and everyone was safe, they all asked Kane for his autograph—except Fido, of course—and he obliged. But get this…he charged them $20 each.”

“He charged a family whose house just burned to the ground 20 bucks for an autograph?”

“Yup, 20 bucks each.”

“Beautiful! We’ve got our front page! Let’s get a photog out there so we have pics of the kids with their empty piggy banks! And make sure Fido’s in the pic and the burned down house in the background!”

The next day you read the headline: Kane Holds Fire Sale—Charges Burned-Out Family $20 an Autograph!

You think I’m kidding?

Kane_cashLook, Kane posts a Twitter pic of himself holding a wad of cash against his ear during the National Hockey League lockout and it’s a headline. He Twitters that Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat is a “fairy” and it’s a headline. He goes to the barber shop, has the letters YMCMB (Young Money Cash Money Billionaires) shaved on the back of his head and it’s a headline. He ignores or fails/refuses to pay a couple of traffic tickets, he says a portion of the criticism directed his way is due to the hue of his skin, he wants to wear No. 9…all headlines.

Kane’s life comes with a 60-point, bold face font. His business card should read Headlines ‘R’ Me.

He’s a film-at-11, black, hip-hop hockey player with a serious on-ice upside and an off-ice downside that are unbalanced in measure. Acknowlegement of his shenanigans away from the Little Hockey House on the Prairie far outstrip anything he produces while playing left wing for the Winnipeg Jets. I call it The Kane Scrutiny.

I know his antics gnaw on people. They think Kane is too uppity. Too immature. Too rich. Too selfish. Too self-indulgent. Too irresponsible. Too cocky. Too arrogant. Too black. Too good for Winnipeg. And he doesn’t pass the puck enough. (Have I missed anything?)

In short, he’s Darth Skater.

Kane hair2But seriously. The guy has carved-initials in a ‘do that speaks to a hip-hop culture and some tattooed rapper dude named Lil Wayne and they stop the presses for a replate? Like, a haircut is news? A $650.80 traffic ticket kerfuffle is news?

Apparently it is if your name is Evander Kane.

Now, I don’t pretend to know Kane, other than what I read or hear about him in print, on air or from second and/or third parties. Based on that, I’m led to believe he’s the type of guy who, if he were to drop by to pick up your daughter for a date, he’d just honk the car horn to signal his arrival and loiter by the curb. Or, if he did actually knock on the door and enter the house, you’d have to tell him to take his feet off the coffee table, sit up straight, take the toothpick out of his mouth and don’t even think about lighting that cigarette.

That’s my perception of Kane. Boorish, full of himself, doesn’t give a damn, thinks his stuff doesn’t stink. He’s a punk.

It’s not a flattering or pretty picture, but then I consider who painted that picture. The media. And we all know the media is an ass.

I mean, it would be different if our Evander had been acting like that Kane kid in Chicago. There’s ample photographic evidence to support the notion that life is just one continuous frat boy pub crawl for party boy Patrick Kane, who’s been accused of, among other things, trying to choke a woman and flinging anti-semitic remarks while attempting to exhaust the entire western world’s supply of beer. But apparently that’s just a young guy being a young guy. There was also that little matter of P. Kane standing before a grand jury to explain why he put a thumping on a Buffalo cab driver over 20 cents in change.

While we’re at it, let’s talk about Craig McTavish, general manager of the Edmonton Oilers. He was driving drunk one night. He killed a woman. He spent a year in the brig on a vehicular homicide conviction.
Our Evander, meanwhile, gets a haircut and doesn’t pay two traffic tickets. Boy, if that doesn’t say lock the door and throw away the key, nothing does.

I’m not in the practice of serving as Kane’s official apologist. That would take up far too much of my time. But this is what I want to know: Why do you give a damn that he didn’t pay those traffic tickets or gets a haircut?



  1. Mitch Kasprick says

    Good insight here … a lot of fans would not believe this sort of thing happens but I’m sure it does even more than we think. Could you imagine twitter back in the Tkachuk days?

  2. Enjoyable and informative read Patti. I loved the detailing of a normal media day, as well as your portrayal of the Kaner “campaign”. Mitch and I have addressed his value as a player here, and we needed this said. Thank you!
    I now feel lucky in my time in Winnipeg, as I was treated more like the Kane below the border. But you wouldn’t know anything about that; a long time ago. 🙂

    • Patti Dawn Swansson says

      Thanks Scott. It’s interesting how time has changed the way the media handles things. When I covered the WHA Jets and the NHL Jets, I knew who was staying out past curfew and who was stepping out, but I never wrote it. Unless it impacted on the guy’s performance, it was none of my business.
      I remember one night—very, very late—in Vancouver, the Friar and I were closing down a hotel bar when in walked one of the Jets. I guess it was around 2 a.m., maybe even later. Anyway, he saw us, walked over to our table, said hi and bought us each a beer. No big deal. He knew we weren’t going to say anything.
      I knew all sorts of stuff. I just didn’t write it. I really liked the great majority of the boys, so I wasn’t going to toss them under the bus.

      • Scott Campbell says

        A couple of months ago I was asked about how the Winnipeg press was in my day, and I said tough but fair. Maybe I should have weighted the fair part a little more heavily. 🙂

        • Patti Dawn Swansson says

          All I can say is I knew things were going on away from the rink, but I chose not to write them. If I criticized (which I did), it was about the on-ice performance. As far as I recall, I never brought a player’s personal life into the equation. Unless, of course, I was writing a feature piece that the player had agreed to. Back then, I don’t think any of the media guys covering the Jets on a day-to-day basis was interested in digging up dirt. I know Friar liked the players. I liked the players. Reyn Davis liked the players. So we didn’t burn them on a personal level.

          • Scott Campbell says

            Thats why I remembered it as fair Patti. Agree with everything you just said. And a tip of the hat to Friar, since he was a great guy and I can’t speak to him here on this.

  3. Great article Patti. And very true. Winnipeg and the Winnipeg media need some serious growing up to do. This type of coverage Kane gets, could scare away potential free agents down the road. And that will hurt the franchise.

    • Patti Dawn Swansson says

      Thanks Jeremy. Most of the guys who played for the Jets past and, from what I hear, present really liked playing in Winnipeg. But you have to get there first to discover it’s not Siberia. You might be right when you suggest the treatment of Kane might scare off a guy or two. As it is, I doubt Winnipeg is high on many players’ list of places to go.

  4. Well said. I’d heard, albeit third hand, that his off-ice persona leaves something to be desired, but I followed him on Twitter and made up my own mind. So far he’s posted nothing that I wouldn’t expect out of any young, well paid individual enjoying his life and career. As long as he’s not hurting anyone then more power to him, I say.

    On ice he impresses me his skill and especially his eagerness to defend his teammates against opponents twice his size. He’s an asset that would be a shame to lose due to negative press. Hopefully he ignores the lot of it.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      I agree and social media needs to be treated with caution if you are a pro in any sport.

    • Patti Dawn Swansson says

      The only thing Kane has done that I’ve found offensive was call Chris Bosh a “fairy.” It can be taken as a homophobic slur, and polite company just doesn’t do that. Some people thought it wasn’t a homophobic slur, but when one guy calls another guy a “fairy,” he’s calling him gay.

  5. Carol Vermeer says

    Writers gonna write. For me, the bottom line is you don’t have to like them off ice to appreciate what they bring on ice. FULL STOP.

  6. So are you saying that Evander is getting a raw deal in Winnipeg because of the colour of his skin?

    • Patti Dawn Swansson says

      Kane played the race/bigot card last season. He said he had received email and Twitter comments that spoke to his color. He said he believed a portion of the criticism he had received was due to the fact he’s black.

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