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More Questions Than Answers With Kane Grievance Right Now

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Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

The Evander Kane saga continues.

Five months after the San Jose Sharks terminated Kane’s contract and the Edmonton Oilers signed him for the remainder of the season – one year after the Daily Faceoff broke that Kane’s then-San Jose teammates wanted him out of the locker room – the Sharks still can’t wash their hands of him.

Are Sharks Looking to Trade Evander Kane?

The latest twist came today in Gary Bettman and Bill Daly’s pre-Stanley Cup Final press conference. Previously, it had been expected that the second (and final) day of the NHLPA’s grievance against the Sharks for terminating Kane’s contract would be heard shortly after the Oilers’ elimination from the playoffs and before the beginning of free agency on Jul. 13.

In the balance, are the Sharks free and clear of the remaining three years and $21 million dollars from Kane’s original San Jose contract? Or does Kane’s money go back, in its entirety, on their books?

The San Jose Sharks, obviously, would like to know how much cap space that they have before free agency. Kane, Edmonton, and other teams interested in the high-scoring winger would like to know if he’s actually an UFA.

It looks like the Sharks’ uncertainty doesn’t quite have an end in sight.

There are so many questions.

Can the NHL/NHLPA go to another arbitrator to expedite the process?

Will the San Jose Sharks have to enter the buyout period (Jul. 1-12) and free agency (Jul. 13) with $7 million AAV in question? Will the NHL make any allowances so the Sharks will be less constrained during free agency?

For example, teams are allowed to go only 10 percent over the cap during the summer. Perhaps that can be waived for San Jose, just in case they’re saddled with the original Kane contract after the start of free agency.

But that would just be a potential temporary measure. Let’s talk about something more permanent that could be affected by a Kane holding pattern.

It’s thought that Marc-Edouard Vlasic is a buyout candidate, but what if San Jose also has to consider the possibility of buying out Kane? It doesn’t seem likely that they will buy out two big contracts in the same summer.

San Jose Hockey Now has always been under the impression that Kane, even with his grievance pending, was to be a UFA (no matter what) after this season. Johnston’s tweet seems to confirm this.

Let’s say that Kane signs with Edmonton on Jul. 13 for three years and $15 million dollars. Then he wins his grievance against the Sharks. Does Kane basically get to be paid in full by two NHL teams at the same time? That seems unlikely and goes against what SJHN has heard throughout this entire process.

What seems more likely is that San Jose would owe Kane what’s left on his original contract minus whatever he’s making on his new deal. That’s what SJHN has heard, but like so much in this situation, there’s no precedent.

SJHN has reached out to Daly for comment.

UPDATED: Why Might Kane’s Playoff Success Be Good for Sharks?

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Whiskerz

The fact they are using an arbitrator that won’t be available until July is peak NHL. Hopefully they get an answer soon on if a different arbitrator can take the case to get it expedited! Running past the draft and free agency pretty much screws the Sharks. In the event they win the case and are free and clear of the 7M AAV (which is my personal feeling on it right now), they will miss out on signing any of the Marque free agents and on potential trade options at the draft. Pretty frustrating to see things get dragged out… Read more »

Alaskan_ice

It seems that this is just bad business that the NHL would let the Sharks stand on the ledge this way. There is a lot pending. Contracts et al.

Last edited 19 days ago by Alaskan_ice
david barnard

this is a league running scared from its player’s union. they should force Kane to drop his/the NHLPA’s grievance if he wishes to sign with another team, end of line. until then, he’s the Sharks’ “property”, since they haven’t resolved this arbitration case. it was a big mistake then, and it’s showing how short-sighted the decision to allow him to play/sign with EDM was with this current limbo situation is. this is what happens when you don’t do the right thing (however painful) at the right time. i’ve come to expect nothing less from this league management.

A

Lol the right thing was to let him play while the decision was being contested, otherwise you’ll more than likely be sued and generate a ton of bad publcity. The problem for the Sharks is that their case for termination isn’t likely to be won, and will more likely end up being a settlment. They may have got off the cap penalty this year, but they wont in the future.

david barnard

it all comes down to how the arbiter defines what a “material breech” of his contract is, since clearly the NHL never deemed it might come up in a contract termination dispute. proposed contract terminations are pretty rare and have been tried on the grounds of showing up to camp overweight (Dotchin) to getting caught with drugs (Richards) at a border crossing. problem is they’ve allowed guys who’ve killed people in auto collisions (Heatley) and drunk driving hit and run’s (Bell) w/o pressing for a termination. this is pretty much how the sport itself treats every rule violation, where the… Read more »

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