The San Jose Sharks, as an organization, aren’t giving away their thoughts about Evander Kane’s contract termination.
“The San Jose Sharks have informed Evander Kane that he has been placed on unconditional waivers with intent to terminate his contract for breach of his NHL Standard Player Contract and for violation of the AHL COVID-19 protocols,” the team’s official press release started on Saturday.
A sentence later, it closed tersely: “The Club will have no further comment on this matter.”
San Jose Hockey Now requested further comment from acting general manager Joe Will, but through Sharks PR, Will declined.
This silence has filtered down to the locker room.
San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture, returning tonight after being in COVID protocol since last Monday, was asked his reaction to the termination of his long-time teammate and former linemate’s contract: “I really haven’t paid any attention to it. I was away from the team when it happened. I haven’t really talked to any of the guys about it. I don’t really have any comment on it.”
No Sharks forward has skated more with Kane than Couture since the winger’s acquisition from the Buffalo Sabres in Feb. 2018.
To the same question, this was alternate captain Erik Karlsson’s full response yesterday: “Never been through a situation like that. So I don’t really know. It’s not really something I have any say or control over. I haven’t really been worrying about it. I’m still not worrying about it.”
From the date of the Feb. 26, 2018 trade that saw prospect Danny O’Regan, a 2019 first-rounder, and a 2020 fourth-rounder go to the Sabres, to the end of last season, no Shark scored more than Kane’s 87 goals.
Alternate captain Tomas Hertl was asked about Evander Kane after Saturday’s rousing victory versus the Flyers: “I don’t know exactly what happened. I don’t really look at stuff before the game. I was just focused on the game.”
We can track down fellow alternate captains Brent Burns and Mario Ferraro, but I suspect the answer would be about the same. Burns actually declined to speak with the media yesterday. No Shark, by the way, has assisted on more Kane goals than Burns with 24 helpers.
Actions, of course, speak louder than words. It’s clear that nobody in San Jose Sharks leadership is shedding a tear at the loss of the high-scoring, and purportedly high-maintenance, Kane.
The Sharks, by terminating Kane’s contract on Sunday, are officially moving on from the controversial winger, but the reality of it is, they had moved on long before that.
“I think we’ve done that a long time ago,” head coach Bob Boughner acknowledged. “We understood the players that we’re going to have on our roster this year, the guys that we’re going to use, and we’ve been good at keeping that focus.”
San Jose Sharks (19-16-1)
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Detroit Red Wings (16-16-4)
Tyler Bertuzzi — Robby Fabbri — Lucas Raymond
Filip Zadina — Pius Suter — Givani Smith
Vladislav Namestnikov — Michael Rasmussen — Adam Erne
Riley Barber — Joe Veleno — Sam Gagner
Jordan Oesterle — Moritz Seider
Nick Leddy — Filip Hronek
Marc Staal — Gustav Lindstrom
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