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More Questions Than Answers With Kane Grievance Right Now



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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