Winnipeg Jets lock up Evander Kane for six years

With only minutes remaining before until the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement, the Winnipeg Jets and restricted free agent forward Evander Kane reached an agreement on a six year, $31.5 million contract extension.

“Obviously very excited about it,” Kane said on a conference call. “I’m grateful that the Winnipeg Jets took that leap of faith and make that kind of commitment.”

Drafted fourth overall by the Atlanta Thrashers in 2009, Kane, 21, has been a budding star for the franchise and experienced a breakout year last season when he tallied 30 goals and 27 assists in the team’s first year in Winnipeg after relocating from Atlanta.

Kane will receive $3 million this season, $4.5 million next season and $6 million the final four seasons of the contract.

“I think there were concessions made on both sides,” Kane said of his deal, which has been in the works since he became a restricted free agent on July 1. Kane has also dealt with a barrage of rumors that the Jets intended to trade him and that he had asked for a trade out of Winnipeg.

Kane signed with the Jets just 30 minutes before the collective bargaining agreement was set to expsire, at which point the owners implemented the league’s third lockout in less than two decades.

However, Kane said he didn’t feel any pressure to complete a deal before the expiration of the CBA.

“I think obviously you want to get a deal done as soon as possible, but things like this take time and it came up to the very last hour to get a deal done,” he said. “Better late than never.”

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