This is quite clear: Buffalo Sabres top forward Evander Kane is on the trade block. Check.
He will be moved before the Feb. 26 trade deadline. Check.
He will become the new member of the San Jose Sharks - say what?!
In a recent mailbag segment, Kevin Kurz of The Athletic was asked if the Sharks might pursue Kane, now that the deadline is fast approaching and San Jose not only needs to focus on the postseason, but also, on the many seasons to come...
Kurz believes it would make sense for the Sharks to have interest in Kane, noting they have sufficient cap space to take on his $5.25-million cap hit and sign him on to a contract extension in the summer. The Sharks need to plan a strong future, with veteran Joe Thornton on his way out...
However, the Sabres asking price of a first-round pick, prospect, conditional pick won’t be cheap unless there is an important detail clarified before the move.
"He wouldn’t come cheap, as Pierre LeBrun recently reported that the cost for Kane could be a first-round pick, a prospect, and a conditional pick. I don’t see the Sharks making a deal like that unless they were confident they could get Kane locked up to a long-term contract."
A major risk?
Kane is an eccentric player, with several controversial moments in his short career. Check.
On Wednesday, Kane and Justin Falk got into a heated fight during Sabres practice as Falk told Kane he was "selfish" during the team's skate. The incident took place after Kane injured one of his own teammate during a drill.
Video by Ted Goldberg of the Buffalo Spectrum News shows Kane checked Zach Bogosian into the boards as he skated with the puck behind the net during a drill. Bogosian stayed on his feet but fell to the ice with Kane a few moments later in the corner of the rink. He was unable to put weight on his left leg as he left the ice. It was later confirmed that he will miss up to six weeks of action.
Things weren't greener in Winnipeg where there was also issues with some teammates before he was traded off to Buffalo.
"When Kane was still in Winnipeg in 2015, he was scratched for violating the team dress code when he showed up in a track suit instead of a standard suit. A later report revealed that Dustin Byfuglien threw Kane’s track suit in the cold tub."
A great fit, but... at another time?
Kane could be a solid fit on the Sharks' roster, if general manager Doug Wilson decides to pull the trigger. One significant issue though, might be the Sharks' unwillingness to part with one of their top prospects.
Wilson could look at a cheaper option at the trade deadline and for a playoff push and pursue Kane via free agency.
Source: The Athletic
Photo Credit: Keystone Press