Evander Kane’s messy personal life amid reports of tension among several teammates has become a cause for concern for the San Jose Sharks and the NHL. The 30-year-old winger’s situation is also raising questions over his future with the club.
The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz confirmed a July report by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli citing friction between Kane and a number of his teammates last season that was expressed during exit interviews with management. Following allegations levelled at Kane of betting on NHL games by his estranged wife, Kurz reported several Sharks players don’t want him to return, citing his “disrespect for team rules” and the lack of consequences for his actions.
Kurz also confirmed Seravalli’s report claiming the Sharks attempted to trade Kane earlier this summer before the gambling allegations and the league’s current investigation into the matter. Despite tallying a team-leading 49 points last season, trading him would’ve been difficult given his $7-million annual average value, his three-team trade list and ongoing bankruptcy procedures. Kurz feels it’s “surely impossible” now.
The Mercury News‘ Curtis Pashelka suggested a contract buyout if a trade isn’t possible. With Adin Hill filing for salary arbitration earlier this week, the Sharks have a short buyout window within 48 hours after the final arbitration case is settled or awarded.
Going that route would be an expensive way to remove Kane from the roster. Pashelka points out the buyout would be on the Sharks’ books until 2029 totalling over $13 million in dead cap space over the next four seasons. They already bought out goaltender Martin Jones, which counts as a combined $7.25 million over the next three years.