CALGARY – The San Jose Sharks know that they’re taking on Evander Kane and the Edmonton Oilers tomorrow. But they still don’t know when they’re taking on Kane’s grievance against them.
In early January, the San Jose Sharks terminated Kane’s contract “for breach of his NHL Standard Player Contract and for violation of the AHL COVID-19 protocols.” The NHLPA quickly filed a grievance on Kane’s behalf.
If the termination is upheld, that means the Sharks are free and clear of the $22.9 million dollars owed to Evander Kane over the next three years, both in terms of actual cash and on the cap. However, if San Jose loses the grievance, that entire amount, minus what Edmonton is paying him this year, is back on their cap.
In early February, the NHLPA told San Jose Hockey Now: “Over the next two weeks or so we should have a confirmed date with the NHL for the grievance hearing to be held. The hearing date will be scheduled before the end of the season.”
Six weeks later, multiple sources have confirmed that there’s still no hearing date set between the NHL/NHLPA. The end of the regular season is a little more than a month away.
On all sides, there doesn’t seem to be much of a hurry to get this resolved. According to a source, Kane “loves” playing for the Oilers and is free to sign a contract with them for next year and beyond. The Sharks could use clarity with their cap situation, but they don’t really need it until the off-season.
I asked San Jose Sharks acting GM Joe Will for an update on the Evander Kane situation last week.
“That’s in the league’s hands,” Will said, “I can’t comment on that situation.”
A league source told San Jose Hockey Now that they “likely will try to get it heard earlier” than the Draft, scheduled for early July in Montreal.
It’s a pivotal off-season for the San Jose Sharks, headed to their third-straight year out of the playoffs, but under the gun to quickly improve the team after re-signing Tomas Hertl to an eight-year, $65.1 million dollar extension. The cap-strapped organization will need all the cap space that they can get.
It’s still SJHN’s guess that Kane and the Sharks will reach a settlement before the hearing date, whenever that is.
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