Evander Kane and the Winnipeg Jets are working on a long-term contract that could keep the 20-year-old star forward with the franchise for at least six more years, according to a report from Gary Lawless in Tuesday's editions of the Winnipeg Free Press. Kane's entry-level contract expired after this past season.
Lawless reports that contract negotiations are moving along with the hope that a deal will be in place before training camp. A report on July 24 said the deal would be worth $29 million.
The two contracts reportedly being used as comparables are John Tavares' six-year, $33 million contract with the New York Islanders and Phil Kessel's five-year, $27 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Tavares signed his contract this past season; Kessel is entering the fourth year of his deal.
Both Tavares and Kessel were coming off their entry-level contracts when they signed those deals.
Kane, the No. 4 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, has improved his production in each of his first three seasons. He put up career-bests in goals (30), assists (27), points (57), shots on goal (283) and plus/minus (plus-11) last season. He had 26 points as a rookie in 2009-10 and 43 points the following season.
Lawless also reports that if for some reason the Jets and Kane are not able to agree on a long-term deal, they more than likely would look for a deal in the neighborhood of two years and $5.75 million, which would match the terms of Logan Couture's contract with the San Jose Sharks. Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal recently completed playing under a contract with the same term and money, but will start a five-year, $30 million contract in 2012-13.