Evander Kane is inching toward a return to the San Jose Sharks. But will he get there?
Two days ago, Kane, in the middle of serving a 21-game suspension for breaking the NHL’s COVID protocol rules, was sighted at Solar4America Ice for the first time since before training camp. Yesterday, the Mercury News confirmed that Kane has been skating at the Sharks practice facility, apart from the team.
However, it’s still an open question as to whether or not Kane will actually re-join the San Jose Sharks when he’s first eligible to on Nov. 30 at New Jersey.
Head coach Bob Boughner was asked about Kane on Saturday.
“I wish I had more information, I don’t. That’s completely honest,” the head coach offered. “I know there’s decisions that need to be made.”
Alternate captain Tomas Hertl was asked this morning if he or any of his San Jose Sharks teammates have interacted with Kane since the team and Kane’s return to San Jose. The Sharks returned from a five-game road trip last Friday.
“I didn’t talk to him. I don’t know anybody who saw him or talked to him. Honestly, I don’t know what the next step is,” Hertl said. “I’m like you guys [in the media], I don’t know what will happen.”
He also admitted that it would be nice to have some clarity.
Sometimes, when people stress that they’re being honest, that’s when they’re being dishonest – but in this case, I tend to believe Boughner and Hertl.
This is a situation truly like no other this sport has seen.
In just the last four months, Kane has been accused of faking a vaccination card, battering his estranged wife Anna Kane, gambling on NHL games, and being disruptive in the locker room. For the record, Kane is serving a suspension for (likely) faking a vaccination card, an NHL investigation couldn’t substantiate that Kane had physically abused Anne Kane, the league did clear Kane of gambling on NHL games, and since training camp, San Jose Sharks players have given us zero reason to believe that they want him back in the locker room.
Couple all of this with Kane’s ability as a hockey player – he was the media-voted Team MVP last season – and the four years and $28 million dollars left on this contract, and that might explain why GM Doug Wilson has apparently kept a lot of important people in the dark about the next step for Kane.
The contract is untradeable, the (very skilled) player appears to be undesirable, and the (alleged) conduct off the ice should be unacceptable.
But the time for out of sight, out of mind is about to run out.
Hertl offered a diplomatic response to the prospect of Kane coming back to the team.
“Honestly, we don’t really talk about it at all. If he comes, he will be a part of the team,” Hertl said. “I’m not really thinking about it. I’m just focused on the game. I just want to win the games right now. I don’t know what will happen there. I’m just looking forward to tonight’s game because we desperately need two points.”
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