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Kane Practices with Barracuda, Addresses Media



Forward Evander Kane had no apologies in his first practice with the San Jose Barracuda Tuesday morning at Solar4America Ice.

“I came in today the same person, same teammate, same player that I was, and everything went great,” Kane said, speaking to the local media for the first time since May.

Unlike the white and teal jerseys of the San Jose Sharks, Kane sported a yellow practice jersey on a line with forwards Kyle Topping and Steenn Pasichnuk.

Throughout the 3-on-3 drills and odd-man rushes, Kane was seen chatting with San Jose Sharks 2018 first-round draft pick Ryan Merkley, and the two seemed to get along.

“He’s a good player,” Kane said of Merkley. “He’s a fun guy to be around.”

At the end of practice, the 30-year-old forward participated in the friendly shootout competition and missed glove side on goaltender Zach Sawchenko, which ultimately led to his team losing and skating additional laps.

Kane mentioned he’s has been skating for the last three weeks in San Jose.

“I feel really good,” Kane said. “It was nice to get out with the guys and pass the puck and shoot on a couple of the goalies. Conditioning has been great. I feel ready.”

Does Kane want to return to the Sharks or rather just return to the NHL with any organization?

“I think we have a good plan in place,” Kane said. “I’m not going to get into that too much. But I’m looking forward to it.”

Kane, a veteran of 769 NHL games who is coming off his best season with 49 points in 56 games last year, is the oldest player on the Barracuda roster.

The second-oldest player is defenseman and Barracuda captain Jaycob Megna at 28, but most of the players on the AHL team are between 20 and 23 and on entry-level contracts, still trying to solidify themselves within the San Jose Sharks’ organization.

“He looks like a guy who is ready to play hockey again,” Megna said. “It’s been awhile for him, so I think we’re on the same page here and he’s getting back into game shape. He can help raise the competition level at practice. I think it’s good for him and for us.”

Kane said he hasn’t spoken to any of the Sharks’ players over the last month.

“I’ve been doing my own thing, getting myself prepared, handling my business, as I’m sure they have,” Kane said.

Kane believes there wasn’t an issue with his presence in the Sharks locker room last season.

“I don’t think you’re going to have a group get along for 150 days perfectly, but I think there’s been a misconception of the entire team or multiple players,” Kane said.

Kane talked at length about his accusations for gambling in San Jose Sharks games.

“It’s unfortunate we live in a world right now where you can accuse someone of literally anything,” Kane said. “You can say anything and it affects people, especially people in positions of power, people that are public figures, and people in sports like myself… It was definitely surprising to see, but I generally was not worried one bit about it because they were obviously false about me.”

Kane did not open up whether he will extend his three-team trade clause, but will have further conversations with his new agent Dan Milstein.

Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer believes Kane will not be a problem in the locker room with his team or the San Jose Sharks, given they practice in the same facility.

“I really don’t think we’re going to have a problem,” Sommer said. “I know there’s been issues in the past. I think he kind of knows if anything good is going to come out of this, he’s got to be on his best behavior.

“As close as that door is over there, it’s still a long ways away. We got guys back and forth in all the time. There’s a close relationship between the coaching staff and management, but you don’t see a lot of guys hanging around with the Sharks guys and vice versa.”

Sommer says he and Kane have exchanged positive conversations since his arrival to the Barracuda.

The San Jose Barracuda are expected to play Abbotsford this weekend, despite the severe flooding in the region. Kane will not play in the two-game slate against the Canucks.

“I look forward to what is to come within the next week,” Kane said. “It should be fun.”

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