Evander Kane has found a new home, at least for the rest of this year. While it’s too early to know whether he will stay in San Jose for the foreseeable future, the Buffalo News’ Mike Harrington writes that the Sharks might be the best fit for the 26-year-old personality. In a 10-point notebook on Kane, Harrington writes that what Kane really needs is to be on a veteran team who will tell him how things work, something that he did not have in Buffalo.
The Sharks, who are loaded in veterans such as Joe Thornton, Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski, Joel Ward and Marc-Edouard Vlasic, should be able to have some controlling effect on Kane. Thornton already proved that when the veteran picked Kane up from the airport in a limousine after the trade. He also writes that Kane already is showing off his speed with San Jose as he’s tallied up three assists in two games with the Sharks. That speed was not very apparent over the past couple of months in Buffalo, but the scribe writes that Kane was well aware Buffalo management wanted to move on from him and may have lost interest in sacrificing himself for the Sabres.
Harrington also adds that general manager Jason Botterill should have made a trade earlier when Kane was hot. Knowing his reputation, which only got worse in the last couple of months with his teammates, they never were likely to get the asking price that Botterill was demanding. In the end, it was quite obvious that only veteran teams showed interest in Kane as the runner-up at the deadline was the Anaheim Ducks.
Due to his reputation, Harrington wonders whether Kane will be forced to take a lesser deal this offseason. Players at his age and skill should be getting a long-term deals at $6-7MM, but Kane may be forced to accept something closer to a four-year term if teams continue to worry about his ability to co-exist with his teammates.
- Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith tweets that Tampa Bay Lightning backup goalie Peter Budaj, who hasn’t played since Dec. 29, is really close to returning to the team. The team could have a decision to make, however, as emergency backup Louis Domingue has won four of his six starts and has played well for Tampa Bay. Domingue, who has a 3.29 GAA and a .905 save percentage would have to be officially recalled, however, if they want to keep the 25-year-old. The team has already used two of their four allotted recalls on Anthony Cirelli and Adam Erne, so the team may not want to use a third recall yet and might stick with Budaj. The 35-year-old has struggled with Tampa Bay this year, however, with a 3.80 GAA and a .878 save percentage.
- John Boruk of NBC Sports Philadelphia writes that the Philadelphia Flyers talked to the Ottawa Senators right before the trade deadline about acquiring winger Mike Hoffman. The scribe writes that sources have said the Senators asked for a package that included defenseman Travis Sanheim and a first-round pick as a starting point. While a first-rounder (they have two of them this year) might have been a possibility, Sanheim proved to be the deal-breaker.
- Providence Journal’s Mark Divver tweets that he spoke to a pro scout who believes the Pittsburgh Penguins made a mistake when they traded enforcer Ryan Reaves to the Vegas Golden Knights last week. While Reaves took a lot of criticism for his lack of offense with the Penguins, he provided the team with leadership and a physicality the team really needed. The scribe writes that the Penguins struggled when things got tough Thursday when they played the Boston Bruins.