Kane, who hadn’t played a single NHL game this season until his first one Jan. 29 in Montreal, has 10 goals and 17 points in 21 games — 13 in Jay Woodcroft’s 16 games as head coach. With 22 games left, he might finish with 20 goals. He’s plus-10, he’s not a liability without the puck. He’s come as advertised, engaging and relishing physical contact along the boards and around the net and he’s getting power-play time with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins out with a bad shoulder.
Whether he stays past this season’s test drive is anybody’s guess, of course. He still has baggage, obviously, off the ice, but at this rate somebody else may well offer the 30-year-old unrestricted free-agent a three-year contract off his stats.
Whether the Oilers would have enough money or want for that much term is up in the air. They do not have much cap room next season either, and have Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto and Ryan McLeod as restricted free-agents to sign. And they have Dylan Holloway, their best prospect and a left-winger, coming soon.