There aren’t a lot of people who want to talk — on the record — about Evander Kane’s troubled tenure with the San Jose Sharks.
So why didn’t it work out for the now-Edmonton Oilers star in San Jose? Captain Logan Couture wasn’t saying, on the eve of Kane’s return to the Tank tonight.
Couture, short & sweet, on why it didn't work out for Evander Kane in San Jose: "I'm not sure."
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) February 13, 2022
Brent Burns declined to comment.
“It’s something that we’ve moved on from,” acting San Jose Sharks GM Joe Will offered on Thursday. “The team has responded. And they play a really hard team game right now.”
So credit the usually-candid Bob Boughner for stepping up to the plate once again.
“There wasn’t one incident or a certain thing that happened,” Boughner acknowledged. “I think it was just a combination of a lot of things.”
That combination of things probably included, but isn’t limited to, a bankruptcy that has played out in public since training camp last season and numerous allegations that Kane flouted team rules regularly last year.
“All the other things in his personal life that he had to deal with, and we talked about that last year, he was dealing obviously with a lot. Sometimes that creeps in and things go wrong,” Boughner offered. “For the most part though, we got through it. Evander had a good year here. He really did. It’s just unfortunate that with everything else going on that we couldn’t separate the two.”
Kane led the San Jose Sharks with 22 goals in last year’s shortened season and was the media-voted Team MVP.
But that wasn’t enough, according to the San Jose Sharks head coach: “I think it was just over time, it just sort of added up, and there was frustration by everybody.”
Since June, when Frank Seravalli of The Daily Faceoff first reported that “significant friction built up between Kane and a number of his teammates last season,” it feels like it’s been a (negative) story a week about Kane.
“We just wanted to get back to a team that we just come to the rink with no distractions and play hard,” Boughner said, echoing Will. “If things didn’t work out here for him, I hope all the best for him somewhere else.”
Kane signed last month with Edmonton after the San Jose Sharks terminated his contract. The NHLPA has filed a grievance on Kane’s behalf.
The Sharks have four more games this season against division rival Oilers and Kane, including tonight. Edmonton is three points up on San Jose in the race for a post-season berth in the West.
“I really don’t expect it to be a sideshow at any point in time [tonight], because the points are so important for both teams,” Boughner said. “We’re both battling for a spot.”
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