Evander Kane will complete his 21-game suspension for violating the NHL’s COVID protocol on Nov. 30. Dogged by off-ice scandal and estranged from his teammates, the 30-year-old winger’s future remains a nagging question for the San Jose Sharks.
The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz reported Sharks general manager Doug Wilson hasn’t revealed his plans for Kane, who hasn’t skated with his teammates since the end of last season. It will take some time for him to get into game shape. While the Sharks could use the left winger’s offensive skills, Kurz wondered if it would be worth the risk of upsetting team chemistry.
Kane is under contract through 2024-25 with an annual average value of $7 million. Given all that’s transpired, Kurz wondered if the winger wants to return with the Sharks. He carries a three-team trade list but could expand it to include other clubs. Still, that cap hit combined with his personal baggage makes him almost impossible to trade.
Wilson could get creative to try and make Kane more palatable in the trade market. Appearing on The Jeff Marek Show on Tuesday, Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman indicated the Sharks are willing to retain a portion of Kane’s annual cap hit if a deal could be worked out. However, he admitted he doesn’t know if any teams are willing to trade for Kane let alone if such a move was realistic.
The most an NHL team can retain of a player’s cap hit is 50 percent. Even if Wilson is to absorb that much, Kane has probably done irreparable damage to his trade value.
Whatever Wilson has planned for Kane, we won’t have to wait long to find out.