Shaq and Kobe. Reggie Jackson and the Yankees. A locker room doesn’t have to get along to win.
That’s the best case for the San Jose Sharks and Evander Kane this year.
The worst case?
Well, let’s not open up that Pandora’s Box yet.
Hockey Hall of Famer Kevin Allen and veteran Detroit Red Wings beat writer Bob Duff — both of Detroit Hockey Now — join the podcast to exercise their vast hockey knowledge and share past examples of how teams overcome locker room discord.
For example, is Sean Avery (31:05) in New York a good comp for the Kane situation?
From our talk with Kevin and Bob, three common trends emerge for teams that succeed despite internal issues — they’re immensely talented squads, there’s still a degree of respect among the players, friends or not, and even the most unpopular player still has influential allies on the team.
“[Sean Avery] hadn’t alienated everybody in the dressing room,” Allen recalled. “For example, he was friends with King Henrik [Lundqvist]. They had a business deal together as well.”
Bob then recounts the story of Sprague Cleghorn and Eddie Gerard, a pre-NHL defensive pairing — and both Hall of Famers — who “despised” each other off the ice. (39:43)
Nick then asks Kevin point blank: Can the San Jose Sharks win with Evander Kane? (43:16)
“When this kind of stuff goes on, players have to answer questions at home, like what’s going on with this team? What’s happening?” Allen said. “Is anybody friends with Kane, anybody going out with him? Especially with the gambling issues and so forth. Those are questions that players don’t like to deal with.”
Bob and Kevin then compare Kane to problem child Bob Probert (46:37) — why did Probert’s Red Wings teammates stand by him?
And before we get to Bob and Kevin, we discussed the San Jose Sharks bringing in John MacLean to oversee their power play (4:15) and the path for Kane to re-integrate himself into the Sharks locker room (9:10). What huge piece might we be missing about the Kane story (11:35)? What’s interesting about the San Jose Sharks official Twitter and Kane’s birthday (18:39)? And did Marc-Edouard Vlasic offer clues for how Kane can ingratiate himself to his teammates once again (21:00)?
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