Kane reportedly arrived at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Tuesday in sweats instead of a suit. He later sat out the Jets' 3-2 overtime loss to the Canucks.
After the game, Jets coach Paul Maurice only said Kane was a scratch because of a coach's decision. It was the second time Maurice made Kane a healthy scratch for disciplinary reasons.
The move casts Kane's status with the team into question, as the sixth-year veteran is also dealing with an undisclosed injury that could require surgery.
SI.com's Allan Muir explained on Wednesday how Kane's benching was surprising:
Without knowing all the details, we’re left to speculate. But taken at face value, the decision to bench Kane seems to put his future with the Jets in jeopardy.
This, after all, wasn’t just any old scratch -- given Kane’s checkered past, though, it would have been news even if it was. It happened in Vancouver, his hometown, where he played junior hockey. It can be assumed that friends and family were in the building. A coach doesn’t embarrass a player by making him a healthy scratch without an excellent reason.
And Maurice made the call knowing that it could also hurt his team. It was a critical game for the Jets against a team that’s chasing them in the standings. And since they were carrying just 12 forwards, the decision required blueliner Dustin Byfuglien to move up front -- where he’s said he doesn’t want to play -- and the insertion of Adam Pardy into the lineup for the first time in nearly a month. All of that, in the view of Maurice, was preferable to letting Kane play.
In 27 games this season, Kane has 10 goals and 22 points. The Jets are 26-18-9, sixth in the Western Conference with 59 points.
- Mike Fiammetta