San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane has cleared waivers and is expected to be assigned to the AHL. Previous reports have made it clear that the Sharks would retain salary in order to facilitate a trade of the veteran forward, and Kane’s new agent Dan Milstein of Gold Star Hockey told Rick Dhaliwal of CHEK TV that there are “multiple options on the table.” Milstein even included the Vancouver Canucks specifically as one of the teams he will be contacting as he tries to get his client a new home.
Remember that once Kane is activated from his suspension, assigning him to the minor leagues will not remove his entire cap hit from the Sharks books, nor will it mean the team owes him any less in salary. His $7MM cap hit would only be reduced by $1.125MM and the remainder of his salary would need to be paid out. So far in the season his cap hit was removed because of the 21-game suspension he received for violating league COVID protocols, but that expired when the Sharks defeated the Chicago Blackhawks last night.
It’s unclear at this point whether Kane will actually suit up for the Barracuda, but perhaps playing AHL games would be beneficial to both sides if a trade is to be worked out. Of course, despite all of the off-ice issues that have followed Kane around for most of his career, he’s coming off an excellent season with the Sharks in 2020-21. In the team’s 56 games, he registered 22 goals and 49 points, the best per-game rate of his career.
Professional sports organizations are often willing to overlook off-ice (or field, or court) transgressions because of the skill of a player, and it is important to note that Kane was cleared of both the gambling and domestic abuse investigations that the NHL held this offseason. Whether a team will take the chance on him remains to be seen, but his time with the Sharks does appear to be over, at least for now.