The picture of Evander Kane, standing on a balcony in Las Vegas, using stacks of money as a prop phone that he then posted on Twitter is a really telling indication of how some players really don't seem to understand the circumstances they are in. Sure, from a personal standpoint, the Winnipeg player has got the means. He's played in the NHL for a couple of years, and he's scheduled to make $3, $4.5, $6, and $6 million per season over the next 4 years, so stacks of hundreds on a vacation in Sin City is well within his budget. However, there is one glaring problem. It's mid-December, and were we not in a lockout situation, Kane should be in the middle of an NHL season, playing hockey for the Jets, not on a Vegas vacation, flashing wads of money via social media.
What this means for Evander Kane personally, is that he hasn't been paid a penny of the money mentioned above, and it's possible, if not probable that he won't see any of his salary this year. I realize that he's been paid more money in his brief career than I will likely earn in my lifetime, but the optics of a "locked out, pitifully under paid, unappreciated" NHL player, treating wads of hundreds as playthings, isn't helping the cause of the NHLPA. And it's probably an indication that the value of a buck is decidedly lower for him than most folks. (I realize that this is the case for most people making millions/billions, but some of the credibility of the idea that hockey players are more down to earth than athletes in other pro sports is eroded every time something like this happens.)
The other factor that seems to be forgotten when a picture like this pops up, is how it impacts the credibility of what other players are saying and doing. If it's so terribly important that these guys stay in game shape that they have to take roster spots (jobs) from other, far lower income earning, hockey players to do so, then why is a fellow player hitting Vegas? In the middle of December? When they could be a couple of weeks from playing if there is a settlement? I know I like a winter vacation too, but if I put on a couple of pounds, it's not putting my job performance in jeopardy.
A picture like this also makes a person wonder how concerned this guy is about the business end of the NHL. Aren't we hearing from players not playing in other Leagues that their focus is on the lockout, and their wanting to be "part of the process"? Maybe Evander Kane was talking to Donald Fehr on his "money phone" instead of Floyd Mayweather. He was saying, "Don! Baby! E-Kane here! I'm in VEGASSSSSS! I've got a couple of G's to put down on what day we'll settle. What's the word?" Maybe he's got his own personal "make whole" plan and it involves letting it all ride on red at the roulette table.
I'm just having a little fun, and really, so was Evander Kane. The difference between us is that I might have a few people read this, and like or dislike what I've written. Evander Kane is a pro hockey player, an NHLer, and he doesn't have the luxury of relative anonymity. What he says and does makes headlines. People will judge him by his fairly harmless actions, whether he wants them to or not. I'm sure he didn't mean to offend anyone, or undermine the cause of his fellow players. I'm guessing he's learning he must think a lot more about a picture that's far bigger than he thought it was a few days ago. What he thought was a funny picture said a lot more than I'm sure Evander Kane ever intended it too. Welcome to the School of Hard Knocks kid.