By Brandon J. Koch
One of the biggest story lines heading into camp is what will happen to Sabres forward Evander Kane.
The 26 year old will be entering the final year of his contract with the blue and gold. He scored 28 goals in 70 games last season, he’s best 5 on 5 scorer the Sabres have. With a new regime under Botterill and Housley, it’s a wonder if they view him as apart of the core for this team long term.
Does he want to resign here? Does he want to be traded? Both are huge factors as I dissect what could happen.
Resign him: Right now, Kane is making 6 million per year with a cap hit of 5.25 million. If he has the same type of season he had last year or even does better, he will command big money on the market and we all know teams overpay for scorers on July 1st. I’m pretty sure with a Jack Eichel contract looming, I don’t think Botterill will want to pay that kind of money.
Kane is not stupid, he’s going to wait until after the season to sign with anyone so he can max out his value. That makes it difficult for the Sabres. The question is, would the Sabres even want to resign him?
Trade him: I think this is best option that makes the most sense. But once again, it has to do with value and time. What can the Sabres get for Kane if they want to trade him and what is his value.
I have to believe Botterill is taking calls and having discussions about Kane. I don’t want Buffalo to lose Kane for nothing, but I also want them to get good value back. If he does get traded, it would probably be with a Stanley cup contending team. Those teams have more to give because they’re going after a championship.
Time is a big factor as well, they can trade him during the preseason, which his value wont be it’s highest. There’s also the deadline, but that’s also a tricky situation, meaning where will the Sabres be at that time in the season.
Ethier way, knowing all of these factors, it’s such an interesting situation the Sabres have themselves in. It’s without a doubt one of the top headlines this fall.