Yesterday the San Jose Sharks made a seven-year, $49MM contract extension for Evander Kane official. With that news, the team will be forced to surrender their first-round pick in one of the next two seasons. Had they let Kane walk after acquiring him from the Buffalo Sabres mid-season, it would have been just a second-round selection. The team had plenty of cap room with only a few players signed long-term, and were expected to be heavily involved in the free agent market this summer. It’s not clear if Kane’s contract takes them out of discussions for a player like John Tavares, as they also have potential extensions for Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski and others to hand out this summer.
It’s a lot to give Kane, who has only hit the 30-goal plateau once and never recorded 60-points in a single season. That said, he has always been considered an elite power forward waiting for the right opportunity, as his skating and puck skills are both excellent. His production after coming to San Jose showed what he is capable of when healthy and performing up to his ceiling, with 13 goals and 19 points in 26 games down the stretch and into the playoffs. If he can continue that production he’ll be more than worthy of the contract, and he won’t turn 27 until later this summer.
There has been quite a bit of discussion over whether the Sharks should have re-signed him, or used that money elsewhere on their roster and in free agency. James van Riemsdyk for instance could likely give you similar offensive numbers, though his all-around game isn’t quite as impactful. James Neal, David Perron, Paul Stastny or even Thomas Vanek are also available this summer, and have long histories of offensive production. None of them are quite as young, but also likely wouldn’t cost as much.
So what do you think? If we assume that Kane wouldn’t have signed for any less than he did, would you have put pen to paper? Would you have agreed to a seven-year deal, knowing that there are other options likely hitting free agency? Is his upside and early production too hard to pass up? What of the draft pick compensation? Vote below, and make sure to explain your reasoning in the comment section.
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