The Evander Kane saga took a surprising turn over the weekend when the San Jose Sharks placed the talented-but-troublesome winger on unconditional waivers to terminate the 30-year-old’s contract.
While the NHLPA filed a grievance Sunday on Kane’s behalf, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Kane is free to sign with another NHL team right away.
Kane’s off-ice issues and reputation as an unreliable teammate are well-documented. Nevertheless, his skills as a productive power forward are enticing for a number of teams, especially if they can get him cheap.
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports Kane’s agent claimed a number of teams expressed interest in his client. He said the Kane camp intends to take some time to evaluate potential offers but Gord Miller tweeted he’d heard the winger could have a new contract by the end of this week.
According to LeBrun, the Edmonton Oilers are among the interested parties. Postmedia’s Michael Traikos also listed the Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights among the potential suitors.
Traikos cited a source close to Kane claiming the winger wants to play for a championship contender on a one-year deal worth between $1.5 million and $2 million. However, LeBrun said it remains to be seen how many of those teams come back with contract offers.
Some of those teams evidently have sufficient confidence in their coaching staff and leadership core to bring out the best in Kane while reining in his worst character traits. Those on Traikos’ list, however, carry limited salary-cap space. Signing Kane at a discount could lead to a cost-cutting deal to squeeze his new contract within their payroll.