There really was no question that Evander Kane was the San Jose Sharks’ MVP this year.
The conclusion to the media vote was so foregone, I asked Kane about winning the award during his Wednesday exit interview, a day before his victory was officially announced.
Here are the highlights of Kane’s exit interview: He gives his thoughts about San Jose’s reset and the cloud that he’s been playing under over the last few seasons.
I also added some of Doug Wilson’s thoughts about Kane and his contract status. While Kane couldn’t guarantee his return, when asked, to the San Jose Sharks next year, because of what’s going on with his bankruptcy proceedings, it had the sound of just something you say legally i.e. he’ll be back.
Evander Kane, on the San Jose Sharks’ “reset”:
I haven’t heard the term “rebuild.” I’ve heard the term “reset.”
Nobody wants to go through a rebuild. I know I don’t have any interest in that. I know a lot of the guys on the team don’t have any interest in that.
From my conversations with Doug and getting to know him over the last couple of years, he doesn’t seem like the guy that wants to go through a rebuild either.
Our group, we have a lot of self-belief, as individuals and as a group that that’s not going to be necessary.
Like I said, I think, you know, we kind of use this season, especially towards the end, to give an opportunity for a lot of the younger players, to gain some experience at this level, and see what they can provide for our team. I think we’re gonna have a training camp next year, and some exhibition games to really see if that pays off.
And at the same time, I don’t think we’re going to be idle in the offseason in terms of adding to our team. So you know, with all that being said, I feel that going into next year with the veteran guys that we have, our younger players hopefully being much better going into training camp next year, and some additions, there’s no excuse why we shouldn’t be not only in the playoffs, but competing to win.
Kane, on Bob Boughner’s performance:
His candidness in the room and individually was good. It was a tough spot for him to try to manage all the players kind of coming in and out of our lineup, and especially probably in the latter part of the year. But I thought, for the most part, he did a really good job. He was in a tough spot with everything that was going on, that’s for sure.
Kane, on how long he’s played under the cloud of financial troubles:
I don’t know, tough to say probably six, seven years.
Kane, on emerging as the go-to guy on the team and winning Team MVP:
I wouldn’t call it emerging. My mindset, my mentality, I always feel and want to be the go-to guy. You have to let your play and your performance do the talking for you on that. Since I’ve been here, I’ve done a pretty good job of that and been pretty consistent.
Since I’ve been here, [I’ve been] a guy that can be relied on to put the puck in the net and [contributing as] a difference-maker each and every night. We got a lot of different guys that can do that. But at the same time, it’s nice to be recognized and just want to keep doing that each every year.
Doug Wilson, on Kane’s play this year and his financial troubles:
Evander played great this year. He was focused in on the sanctuary of coming to play hockey, [in the] chaos and things that he’s had to deal with. He was mentally strong, being able to do what he has to do. When it comes to his personal issues, obviously with his legal representation, we do not get involved in that. I know there were talks and reports earlier on, on things that are basically his choices with his representation.
When it comes to hockey, he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. We know he has a contract, he’s honored the contract, he’s played and prepared and had a really good season. So we expect him back, we expect him to play the way he did this year.
And in many ways, he tells me he thinks the stress and pressure of some things he was dealing with, by it now being out in the open and public, I think it’s almost opened up his ability to just to play the way he’s played this year. And I give him a lot of credit.
I think his best hockey is ahead of him, and I expect it to be here with us.
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