While the trade bait board released by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli earlier this week contained mostly the usual suspects, a surprise at No. 5 was San Jose Sharks top scorer Evander Kane. While a departure was a possibility this season – the Sharks did tell a U.S. bankruptcy court that Kane’s contract could be terminated – this is the first that trade rumors have popped up. It does not seem as though Kane’s ongoing financial issues and legal proceedings are the root cause either. Instead, Seravalli suggests that a number of Kane’s teammates are unhappy with him in the locker room and have voiced their frustration to San Jose management. This would not be the first time that Kane’s personality has pushed him out of town; he previously had issues in both prior career stops with the Thrashers/Jets and Sabres. Whether the Sharks follow suit and trade Kane is another matter. A top scorer and physical presence, Kane is one of the best players on the team. Even if GM Doug Wilson was inclined to trade Kane, his bankruptcy case and the new leaked details of another upset locker room would make it very difficult for him to get fair value back for what Kane actually contributes on the ice. It’s a difficult situation and one that was not expected to be an issue for the Sharks this summer. It is one thing for Kane’s legal status to force their hand and another to have to instead make the proactive choice to trade an elite player.
- Another player who may unexpectedly be available this summer is young Vegas Golden Knights forward Cody Glass. As relayed by The Athletic’s Jesse Granger, Vegas head coach Peter DeBoer made some comments in his closing media availability on Saturday that were not-so-subtly directed at Glass. A young guy can’t say he never got an opportunity,” DeBoer said. “I think we stuck young guys in all year and tried to put them in situations where they had an opportunity to succeed… Some have seized the moment, some haven’t. Some just aren’t ready yet.” As the Knight’s most high-profile prospect, Glass is certainly one of if not the biggest target of these remarks. Vegas’ first ever draft pick at No. 6 overall back in 2017, Glass has been given ample opportunity so far in his career. He skated in 39 games with the Golden Knights as a first-year pro in 2019-20, recording 12 points, and was expected to take a step forward this year. Instead, he played in only 27 games and recorded 10 points, failing to make an impact at even strength. His lack of reliability kept him out of all but one of Vegas’ playoff games this spring. A prospect with Glass’ draft pedigree is expected to be doing more at this point in his career, especially as the team’s other 2017 first-rounder, Nick Suzuki, is currently first or second in goals, assists, points, and time on ice this postseason among Montreal Canadiens forwards – the team that just knocked out the Knights. With just one year left of waiver exemption, Glass must show this season that he can be an everyday NHL contributor. If DeBoer and the club have doubts, they may decide to trade him now before his stock slips any further.
- Some good news in exit interviews came from the New York Islanders. Captain Anders Lee, whose season was ended by an ACL injury in March, sounded optimistic about his recovery. “I am on track,” Lee stated. “I was able to do a lot of really good things in the past 13-14 weeks since surgery. Looking forward to continuing on that path and getting ready for camp.” ACL injuries can be a difficult and timely recovery, so Lee’s early progress is encouraging. If he is indeed back to full strength in time for training camp, that is an ideal result for the Islanders. Before his injury, Lee was scoring at a pace that closely resembled his career highs in per-game goals and points and was well on his way to a career-best plus/minus, even in the shortened season. New York needs him at that level next year, as their lack of salary cap space will likely prevent them from making any meaningful improvements to the roster this summer.