The New York Rangers have lots of decisions to make regarding contracts this offseason. With that in mind, they’d do well to remember the warning sign of the Evander Kane contract.
Sometimes, as an organization, it’s easy to only see what goes on internally. And they can forget to look outward to see red flags popping up around them. The New York Rangers should not fall into this narrow-sighted trap.
Recently, the San Jose Sharks signed Kane to a seven year deal, worth $49 million. But before we get into the huge warning sign that is this contract, let’s take a step back and talk about the player himself.
Kane is a player who has been a perrenial under achiever for most of his time in the NHL. Spending time in the black hole of Winnipeg and then Buffalo took its toll on the forward. However, the Sharks liked what they saw in his brief stint with the team following the trade deadline.
Some Background Info on Evander Kane
Kane is a 212lb, 6’2” left winger with a knack for scoring. At only age 26, he’s made his impact on the league in a few different sweaters already. Kane posted 20 goals and 20 assists in 61 games played in the regular season for 40 points.
During the playoffs, he recorded four goals and added an assist for five points in seven games. That also included two power play goals, a unit he specializes in.
All in all, Kane is a great player with a foreseeably promising future. Why, then, is his contract plan a concern to New York?
The Reason for Concern
At 26 years old, many analysts would agree the prime years are just beginning. However, they would also agree that they come as soon as they go, leaving little room for tremendous growth and performance afterwards.
26-32 is the approximate age of any NHLer in their prime. That’s about four seasons of solid hockey. After that- what are the Sharks going to do when they want to keep thier young, vibrant energy alive?
And as the Rangers know from the Derek Stepan contract, it’s not easy to find a good deal for someone, even when they’re one of the best, when you sign them to a long-term contract. It’s a trap that you can’t get out of easily, and it puts a lot of stress on the team as a whole- players and coaches alike.
How to Avoid Past Mistakes
The only way the Rangers won’t make this mistake again is by signing their players to short, reasonable contracts. Especially with their younger players, they shouldn’t want to put too much faith in their abilities five, six, or seven years from now.
Keep everything at or under four years and see how everything plays out. That’s the only sure way to know they won’t have to deal with a crisis in the near future.