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UPDATED: Kane Can Return to NHL Immediately

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Credit: NBC Sports California

As expected, the NHLPA filed a grievance on Evander Kane’s behalf after the San Jose Sharks terminated Kane’s contract on Sunday.

According to Frank Seravalli of The Daily Faceoff: “The process will now go before an arbitrator. Certainly, it’s something that’s not going to be resolved in short order.”

To San Jose Hockey Now’s knowledge, neither an arbitrator nor arbitration date have been set.

I spoke with Seravalli about Kane this morning:

At the moment, the San Jose Sharks are free and clear of the remainder of Kane’s seven-year, $49 million dollar contract, signed in May 2018.

Evander Kane is now officially an unrestricted free agent, though Elliotte Friedman cautioned that “ground rules need to be set on how that can unfold, too.”

In theory, if the NHLPA wins their grievance, Kane could have two valid NHL contracts, so there have to be contingencies in place to prevent that.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, however, confirmed to San Jose Hockey Now that Kane is indeed free to sign with and play for an NHL team right now, details and contingencies to be sorted out later.

Kane’s agent Dan Milstein has told multiple reporters that there is interest in the rugged, high-scoring winger. That’s not a surprise: Kane led the San Jose Sharks with 48 goals over the last two shortened seasons and was the media-voted Team MVP last year.

There are also, however, plenty of reasons for teams to avoid Evander Kane: This new alleged COVID protocol violation that got his contract terminated, his previous protocol violation that got him suspended, career-long questions about his ability to get along with his teammates, sexual misconduct allegations from different women dating back to Buffalo, on-the-record problems with gambling, you name it.

The Sharks’ locker room doesn’t appear to be missing him.

“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,” Erik Karlsson said when asked about Kane this afternoon. “I haven’t really been worrying about it. I’m still not worrying about it.”

That’s the full quote to a question about Karlsson’s reaction to Kane’s termination.

That said, a source told SJHN: “Would have to think a couple [teams] would take the chance on a one-year, prove it-type of deal.”

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