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Evander Kane

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Sharks Sign Evander Kane

Sharks Start Offseason with Evander Kane Signing

Today, the San Jose Sharks today made the signing of Evander Kane to a 7-year deal worth $49 Million ($7M AAV) official. The deal includes a modified no-trade list where Kane can submit a list of 3 teams he can be traded to. This clause is currently in many contracts of key Sharks players, including Brent Burns, Martin Jones, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Doug Wilson was quoted as saying that he feels that Kane’s best hockey is ahead of him. This deal definitely speaks to that belief.

Is the Money and Term Worth It?

Based on Kane’s production thus far in his career, many will likely see this as an overpay. On the surface, it would be difficult to argue with them. If you dig deeper though, a player of Kane’s talents doesn’t generally hit the open market. At 26 years old, someone was going to roll the dice and write the check to bring Evander Kane into the fold. Below are some comparables put together by Cap Friendly that shows teams have repeatedly opened their checkbooks to sign young players with similar production. You can argue the right or wrong of the contracts until your blue in the face, but the reality remains that someone will always be there to write the check if the Sharks balked at Kane’s demands.

Another argument you will hear is no one was interested in Kane when Buffalo wanted to move him until the Sharks rolled around. Again on the surface, this is true, but digging deeper, all a team had to part with in free agency is money. Teams obviously leary of Kane’s reputation were unwilling to give up the assets to get him. There is no denying that fact. However, the players listed above do not have the allegations of sexual assault/physical assault hanging over their head. It does, however, show that GM’s have no problem throwing money around to get what they want. Many GMs who passed on giving up assets to acquire Kane would likely have no issue bringing him in now as a UFA should he have hit the market.

The Modified NTC

The modified no-trade clause is a bit of a head-scratcher. The Sharks already overpaid a bit in money so I don’t understand why the NTC was needed as a throw in. Evander Kane can submit 3 teams in which the Sharks can trade him to. This gives the player far too much control in this case. If things go south in San Jose, the Sharks would already have a difficult time unloading the deal. Evander can now say “hey, I’ll go to Winnipeg and Buffalo” (two teams that clearly don’t want him) to make moving him that much more difficult should the Sharks have to go down that road.

Obviously, the Sharks didn’t sign this deal with moving him down the road in mind. Still, Doug Wilson has really gone all-in with many similar deals which could turn the Sharks into the Blackhawks… just without all the cups to go with it.

Looking Forward

By getting the deal done now though, it is fair to say that the Sharks competed against themselves. It’s not deniable, but Doug Wilson clearly identified Kane as a player he wanted for the long term of the franchise and has made it happen. The Sharks appear primed to spend money this offseason so I doubt Doug Wilson is finished with just the Kane signing. The Sharks will likely make a strong push for John Taveras should he hit the market and will likely still look elsewhere if that doesn’t work. Also, as it is not a no movement clause, the Sharks could leave Kane exposed in the upcoming Seattle expansion draft.

As for Kane, his impact on the team when he signed was undeniable. He changed the trajectory of a team that was starting to seriously flounder in the standings and pushed them into the playoffs. There are many concerns here… injury history, pending civil litigation, and other off-ice issues. So far though, it appears that Kane has been a great fit in San Jose both on and off the ice. Doug Wilson did his due diligence consulting the team’s leadership before bringing him here. If Kane’s best hockey truly is ahead of him, this could end up being quite the deal for the Sharks down the road.

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