There are a few ways the grievance case between the San Jose Sharks and Evander Kane could play out here over the next few weeks. Because the arbitrator not being available in June is holding things up, “the next few weeks” is key here for the Edmonton Oilers and that brings another potential option into the fold, according to a few Oilers’ media sources.
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What we know so far is that Evander Kane doesn’t believe his contract with the Sharks was terminated with just cause. He’s fighting to get the money owed to him paid in full and if successful, he could revert back to being the property of the Sharks. That complicates his free agency situation, even though the NHL has already suggested him signing with another team after July 13 is permitted — his free agency deal would be voided if San Jose reclaims him. The Oilers want Kane back, but it doesn’t serve them well to over-offer to keep him and hope he drops his grievance case. That would mean a five-year deal or more at anywhere between $6 and $8 million per season.
Evander Kane thank you letter Oilers
The solution might be a trade between the Oilers and Sharks prior to the arbitrator making his ruling in July.
David Staples of The Edmonton Journal is writing that one theory out there is the Oilers and Sharks might settle prior to the grievance case ruling and make a blockbuster trade. Kane (and his remaining three seasons) would go to Edmonton. The Sharks would have to take back Tyson Barrie, Zack Kassian, Warren Foegele and Jesse Puljuarvi — or some combination of the four. It sounds crazy on paper that either side would agree to this, but there’s reason to suggest it’s possible. As Staples writes, “But if this move is open to Edmonton — and I’m starting to believe that it is — I think the Oilers will make it.”
The Benefits for Both Teams
There is a very real sense the Sharks could lose this grievance case. If they do, they either take the player back (which they don’t want to do) or they let him walk and pay him $7 million per season over the next three seasons. The better play is to trade him first and be rid of the problem. If taking back a promising young winger and a couple of veteran forwards is the cost, San Jose could do much worse.
For the Oilers, they would get Kane for three more seasons, move out a ton of cap space and have a solid top-six with room to add a goaltender and fill in holes in the bottom six. There is risk associated in trading away Puljujarvi, but it’s 50/50 around Edmonton that he stays anyway.
This is a big trade and it has to be said that no one really knows how all of this Kane stuff is going to play out. This solution suggests the two teams take matters into their own hands and simply figure things out without the arbitrator.
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