Canucks ‘didn’t have the players to match’ what Sabres gave up for Kane

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The Vancouver Canucks wanted Evander Kane. They made no secret about that.

As it turns out, they just didn’t want him badly enough to trade either of their top three prospects — Bo Horvat, Jake Virtanen, or Jared McCann — to the Winnipeg Jets, who ended up sending Kane to Buffalo in a blockbuster deal with the Sabres.

“They’re the future of our team,” Canucks GM Jim Benning told Ed Willes of The Province newspaper, referring to the trio of first-round picks, all forwards, and all still teenagers.

What the Canucks did end up offering for Kane, well, Benning obviously wasn’t about to volunteer that information.

“I think we made a fair offer,” he said. “But they ended up making a big deal and we didn’t have the players to match that deal.”

Kane, 23, grew up in Vancouver and played his junior hockey in the city for the WHL’s Giants. He’s also the kind of goal-scoring power forward the Canucks could use to bolster their middling offense, and it’s believed he would’ve welcomed a trade to his hometown.

Alas, that ship has now sailed.

Vancouver is in Chicago to play the Blackhawks tonight.

Related: Canucks trusting rookie Horvat with some tough assignments