Monday, April 7, 2014

Bud's lay a Dud while Maurice Hits the Jackpot

Signed Evander Kane Photograph - * * 8X10 W COAThe Twitter-verse was buzzing on Saturday night moments prior to the Jets tilt against the team from the center of the universe as Coach Paul Maurice had an ace up his sleeve that not only inspired his team (that had absolutely nothing to play for) but had many questioning which team was fighting for their playoff live. For reasons known only to those in the Jets inner circle he decided to sit out Evander Kane.

The stage was set for the Jets to either revolt or take heed to the coaches message and play like there was no tomorrow. We will never know if this was the main reason for the Jets playing like world beaters but based on the outcome, a 4 -2 drubbing of the Toronto Maple Leafs that featured 41 shots from a team playing without Kane and Dustin Byfuglien for a good portion of the game. The message got through like a Byfuglien blast from the point that Coach Maurice is in charge and no man is safe not even a former 30 goal scorer.

It is unfortunate that Maurice had to resort to these tactics with a highly skilled and highly paid professional but Kane is not the first and won't be the last player to suffer this fate. The question is will this even have an impact on him or is he too far gone to care about what the coaches think?

Unfortunately, controversy seems to follow Mr. Kane around on and off the ice. The list is long and many of the items are unsubstantiated but one that is fact is that Coach Noel tried on several occasions to get Mr. Kane to buy into his plan including earlier this season when Kane declared he was fit to play but the coach begged to differ and sat him out.

The difference between Noel’s move and Maurice’s is that the Jets had nothing to play for on Saturday night. There was no need for Maurice to stir up any kind of controversy with only four games left but this was a veteran move by a veteran coach that should send a clear signal to management at True North that he wants to be here and he has a plan to take this team to the next level. Now it is up to the GM to find him the players, many of whom are already here, that will buy into Maurice’s plan.

It is evident that Evander Kane is not buying in at the pace that Maurice wants him too. What is also evident is that Chevy will have to take a side in this stalemate. He can side with Kane by not signing the coach or he could look to shake up the core by trading away Kane. This move shows that the relationship between Maurice and Kane is colder than the polar ice vortex that engulfed North America and it may not ever be able to thaw out.

The fact is that by playing the ace up his sleeve the coach has thrown all his chips on the table. The truth is out there that he is prepared to do what it takes to win and now the GM who only knows how to hold 'em is forced to either get in this game with Maurice or find a new partner because the coach has shown his hand that he is willing to stick his neck out on the line. But Maurice cannot do it without Chevy dealing him a few new cards.

Evander Kane

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