It only took eight games but the Winnipeg Jets are already denying rumours a player wants out.
Rumours surfaced on social media Wednesday that Evander Kane had asked to be traded. But Thursday morning after a pre-game skate in Philadelphia in preparation for tonight's game against the Flyers, Kane said it’s not true.
“No I haven’t asked for a trade. I’m happy where I am and I expect to be here for a long time,” he said.
He also denied having any problems with coach Claude Noel. “ I have the same relationship [with him]as most guys do in the dressing room.”
Kane said he only learned of the rumour as he got off the plane Wednesday. His phone lit up with messages and texts from reporters and friends asking whether it was true. “I had no idea what was going on,” he said. “I talked to my agent and asked him if he had an idea of what was being said. We were both surprised by it. Completely false.”
Kane said he wasn’t too bothered by the rumour, knowing that this would come once Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg. “It’s part of the hockey industry. You’re in a Canadian city, under the limelight, people want to say different things, create a spark.”
Kane has not had a great start to the season with just one goal and one assist so far. But he has shown much more life in the last couple of games, especially since being put on a line with Alexander Burmistrov and Nik Antropov. That combination has proven to be the Jets most successful line.
One intriguing match up Thursday night will be the Flyers' Jaromir Jagr against Jet goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. They are both from Kladno, Czech Republic, a city of about 90,000 people near Prague. The two have played together a couple of times on Czech national teams, but they have never played against one another.
"It’s very special for me to play against him," said Pavelec, who hasn't started for the Jets since last Saturday against Carolina when he was pulled in the first period after letting in two quick goals.
Jagr signed a one-year contract with the Flyers this year after spending the last three seasons playing in Russia. He's scored three goals so far this season for the Flyers and has five assists.
"He’s on the fly right now, 3 goals in last 4 games," said Pavelec. "It’s going to be a really tough game."
Pavelec says he knows Jagr "a little bit" and he's not surprised that he's still going strong at age 39.
"I know how hard he works."
So does he know Jagr's secrets? "I wouldn't say I know his," Pavelec said. Then he added a bit ominously for the Jets: "He knows mine."