While it’s not a big surprise, the play of San Jose rental Evander Kane has opened some eyes in the NHL. In 15 games with the Sharks, the 26-year-old has put up nine goals and five assists, showing he has the skills to be the star winger that many teams thought he could be despite some mid-season struggles with the Buffalo Sabres.
Despite getting Kane for a reduced price because of the lack of interested teams, don’t expect that to be the case this offseason. While it is believed that the San Jose Sharks will try to re-sign him this summer, The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz (subscription required) writes in a mailbag column that no extension talks have begun and the price should be quite high as many more teams are likely to be in on Kane. In fact, Kurz writes the forward will be looking for both term and salary in this deal and could cost the Sharks as much as seven years at $7MM per season, which he believes will likely happen
- Kurz also mentions in his mailbag feature that it is extremely likely the team will buyout defenseman Paul Martin, who has one more year next season at $4.85MM. The 37-year-old blueliner has slowed down and has only managed to appear in 10 games for the Sharks this year and spent 18 games with the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL, the first time he’s ever played in the AHL. A buyout would save the Sharks $2.83MM in cap space for next season, which they might want if they intend to sign a big-named free agent.
- Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press writes that 2017 first-round pick Michael Rasmussen has been playing some of the best hockey of his career in the WHL playoffs. One big difference is that the center has occasionally moved to the wing during recent games due to his excellent chemistry with Carolina Hurricane’s prospect Morgan Geekie. His success at the wing could be a good sign if the 19-year-old prospect hopes to make the Red Wings squad out of training camp. Rasmussen, who has had 31 goals and 59 points (along with five goals and 12 points in four playoff games) for the Tri-City Americans, could be a key rebuilding chip for a struggling Detroit squad.
- Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News-Observer tweets that Carolina Hurricanes forward Victor Rask, who was declared out for the season almost two weeks ago, had successful surgery on his shoulder and is expected to be ready for training camp next season assuming his rehab goes well. The 25-year-old had 14 goals and 31 points this season.
- The Athletic’s Alexander Appleyard (subscription required) breaks down the amazing success that Philadelphia Flyers prospect goaltender Carter Hart has had this year. Besides the amazing, eye-popping numbers of a 1.60 GAA and a .947 save percentage with the Everett Silvertips of the WHL, the 19-year-old has had a such a dominating season that no other goalie’s numbers are even close to Hart. Appleyard continues to break down 106 seasons between the WHL, OHL and the QMJHL combined and can’t find a year in which a prospect had this great of a season in comparison to his peers. Hart is expected to get more seasoning next year in the AHL before he takes over in Philadelphia.