NHL News and Rumours: Is Kane really a fit for Canucks?

NHL star Evander Kane turned himself in to police on Friday to face non-criminal harassment charges and a misdemeanor criminal trespass charge stemming from an incident at a bar in June.

Is a Vancouver homecoming the right move for Sabres’ Kane, Chayka speaks, and Matt Duchene is ready for the World Cup.

Kane a fit for Canucks?

The Vancouver Canucks ranked 29th in goals for in 2015-16 with 191. Only the New Jersey Devils scored fewer goals.

The Province columnist Ben Kuzma floated one potential solution to help alleviated the Canucks’ offensive woes, a call for GM Jim Benning to take a run at acquiring Buffalo Sabres winger Evander Kane.

“The optics of another off-ice altercation by the wayward Evander Kane were ugly, but the timing may not have been better for the Vancouver Canucks, who desperately need to acquire a second-line left-winger,” Kuzma writes.

Kane turned himself in to Buffalo police last Friday and is currently awaiting an August 1 court date where he will face four counts of non-criminal harassment, one count of disorderly conduct and a count of misdemeanour trespass stemming from an altercation at a downtown Buffalo bar on June 24. The 24-year-old has denied the charges through his lawyer Paul Cambria.

This is Kane’s second run-in with the law in the past seven months. He avoided charges in March stemming from a possible sexual assault investigation. Prosecutors determined there was insufficient evidence to support the allegations.

The timing may not be worse for the Canucks to bring the Vancouver, British Columbia, native home.

There’s no denying Kane is a talented hockey player. He totalled 20 goals in 65 games in 2015-16 and is blessed with the speed and size NHL executives covet on the wing. The problem is he can’t seem to keep away from controversy and the charges he’s currently facing are for allegedly grabbing three women by the neck, hair, and arms.

Perhaps the best course of action here for everyone is to let the legal process play out before handing Kane his second clean-slate opportunity in the past two years.

Chayka talks busy off-season, analytics

The Arizona Coyotes flipped the hockey world on its head when they named 26-year-old John Chayka general manager in May.

Chayka is 27 now and has added one busy NHL off-season to his resume. He spoke to NHL.com about his surprising arrival on the NHL stage and what’s in store for the Coyotes.

On the additions of Alex Goligoski and Luke Schenn to the blue line:

“The philosophy is fairly simple. It’s when we don’t have the puck, recover the puck as quickly as possible,” Chayka told NHL.com.

“There are all kinds of different forms where you can gain possession of the puck, some of them are physical and some of them are non-physical, so I think you need a blend to have both. Once you get the puck back it’s to transition the puck.

“Defense isn’t about defending, it’s about getting the puck in the forwards’ hands and getting the puck moving into the offensive zone. It’s about transitioning. That’s the philosophy and that’s been the theme behind the moves that we’re making, let’s get players who can get pucks back and get pucks up to forwards in an efficient and effective manner. We think we’ve taken strides here. We hope there is an improvement. We believe there will be an improvement.”

On the role of analytics in the NHL:

“I think it’s all relative. Is it in the infancy stage? Maybe, comparative to the more established sports. That’s a matter of perspective, but probably fair. Is it in the infancy stage compared to where it was five years ago? It’s definitely not.

“As we continue to evolve or understand the game and learn more you realize there is more and more to learn. Just because the information continues to evolve and become more complex doesn’t mean you go back to the infancy stage. It’s a natural evolution of how change occurs.”

Duchene talks World Cup, trade rumours

Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene was a guest on Dean Blundell and Co. Tuesday morning on Sportsnet 590 The FAN.

Duchene was asked about preparation for the World Cup of Hockey, trade rumours, and how he spends his downtime in the off-season.

On whether or not September’s World Cup has altered his off-season training:

“It doesn’t change it much,” said Duchene. “I think the first three days of that training camp will be pretty gruelling and tough, but at the same time it’s hockey right away…it’s not intrasquad games and eight pre-season games.

“It’s not that slow wait for the real deal, you hit it right away. I think I’ll respond probably better to that than sometimes camp in the past.”

On trade rumours:

“We’re a team that has not been where we want to be the last couple years,” he said. “Hopefully we get it back together this year, but if things don’t go that way I’m sure they’ll be looking to make some big changes.

“All I can do is just prepare myself to help the best I can, first of all, Team Canada win the World Cup and after that the same applies for Colorado.”

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