Evander Kane was scratched for wearing a track suit to a mid-day team meeting. That is what we were publicly told anyways. The explanation does not add up and has made the Winnipeg Jets an easy target for mockery. One of the reasons many thought Kane was scratched for the violation was because he is black. If Andrew Ladd ever did anything as horrible as wearing a track suit to a meeting, he would not be scratched. Except, the whole "scratched for wearing a track suit to a meeting" does not add up to any reasoning whatsoever.
On Tuesday night Paul Maurice was non-committal about Kane returning to the lineup for Friday's game against the Chicago Blackhawks. He was pissed about Kane. This is a coach that he has gone out of his way to praise Kane for playing well through injury and putting the team ahead of his own personal comfort. Maurice loves him for what he is and has gone out of his way to let everyone know that Evander is a good guy and someone he wants on his team. You do not scratch a player like that for a minor offence like wearing a track suit to a mid-day meeting.
When something sounds so absurd that is sounds like a fantasy, then it probably is not real. The absurdity of playing a team short a forward because a forward wore a track suit to a meeting does not seem like a logical decision. The idea that a player is scratched for a seemingly minor transgression is odd. Some people have pointed to race being a factor, but in this instance I do not think it applies. Last time Kane was a healthy scratch it was because he was the third player to break the same rule and it was the luck of the draw. This time it may be the same thing, or it may be that the Winnipeg Jets are only telling a partial truth and there is more to the issue than meets the eye.
There are many other punishments than straight up scratching a player. Bag skates are one and one that Maurice may have entertained, but Kane is hurting and maybe the idea of bag skating him is not wise at the moment. As a veteran coach, I am sure Maurice thought about other options, but scratching Kane was the only one he was comfortable with for reasons that we do not know. The full story is probably not out there.
The official reason why Evander Kane was a healthy scratch on Tuesday is the tip of the iceberg according to sources. interesting day in WPG— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) February 5, 2015
There you have it. Half truths that have led to endless mocking of the Jets...when it could have been handled better.
The Jets want to be a secretive organization. Not having anything internal leak is a good thing...except when the story starts to spin out of control a player is being dragged through the mud over something seemingly minor. This is not the first time the Jets have let a story play out in the media before having the reason leak out. This is the worst case because the reason seems so asinine that it looks like the Jets got caught with their pants down and are unsure of what to do with a player who violated a rule that was much greater than wearing the wrong clothes to a mid-day meeting. The Jets could have said Kane overslept or missed curfew and that was why he was scratched. No one would have cared if that happened. The problem is not that Kane was scratched for breaking a team rule, it is the rule he allegedly broke does not seem to be a reason for an automatic scratch.