Evander Kane would probably be the first to tell you 2014-15 hasn’t gone quite to plan.
After an injury took him out of the season opener, the Winnipeg Jets winger was sidelined for several games. When he returned from injury, the Kane struggled to score. Now, 20 games into his campaign, he may be looking at a few games on the sideline thanks to a hit from behind on Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner on Sunday:
It was announced on Monday morning that the 23-year-old Kane is to have a phone hearing with the Department of Player Safety. While the hearing doesn’t mean a sure-fire suspension, the case against suspending Kane isn’t too strong. Regarding the fight following the hit – with how often Ducks defensemen have been sidelined this season, it makes sense to see Stoner retaliate the way he did.
Kane was given a major for checking from behind and a game misconduct on the play.
The case for suspending Kane: The hit was reckless, unnecessary, and was easily avoidable. Kane didn’t let up and drove into Stoner from behind. There’s not a single second where Kane is looking at something other than the back of Stoner’s jersey.
The case against suspending Kane: While you can argue whether or not it should be taken into account, the Department of Player Safety does factor in resulting injury. Luckily for Kane, Stoner appeared to be all right and returned to the game for the third period. This will also be the first time Kane has met with the Department of Player Safety.
It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which Kane isn’t sitting on the sidelines following the hit. With Stoner in such a vulnerable position, Kane never slows down and follows through on the hit as though he’s not staring down Stoner’s number. Kane plays with an edge and hits hard and often, but this is the exact type of play the Department of Player Safety wants a player of his ilk to think twice about going forward.
The Winnipeg Jets play three games in the next five days, including a rematch with the Ducks on Saturday, Dec. 13.