Evander Kane would have been eligible to return from his 21-game suspension this week and rejoin the San Jose Sharks Tuesday for their game against the New Jersey Devils. Instead, the Sharks placed Kane on waivers Sunday, paving the way for his assignment to the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda.
In an interview on the Donnie & Dhali Show with Don Taylor and Rick Dhaliwal Monday, Kane’s agent confirmed the player would report to the AHL if he cleared waivers. Kane passed through unclaimed later on Monday.
“We had been working closely with the [Sharks] over the last 2-3 weeks or so, so this doesn’t come as a surprise at all so we’re going to work through it,” Dan Milstein said.
At the start of the season Kane was given his suspension for submitting a fake COVID-19 vaccination card upon returning to the Sharks for training camp. Kane has been the subject of a number of other off-ice issues in recent months, including allegations of domestic assault by his estranged wife Anna Kane and counter-claims by Kane in court, allegations he bet on NHL games (which the league cleared him of), and filing for bankruptcy.
What happens next in Kane’s NHL career is unclear.
San Jose has finished near the bottom of the NHL standings two years in a row, but have started a promising 11-9-1 in 2021-22 and have done it without Kane, who was the team’s leading scorer with 22 goals and 49 points in 56 games last season. The coaching staff and players have said they have received no communication when, or if, Kane will return to the team. Assistant general manager Joe Will, who is filling in as general manager while regular GM Doug Wilson is on medical leave, said putting Kane on waivers gives the team flexibility before determining what they want to do with Kane going forward. Will also noted that Kane is now fully vaccinated.
Kane makes $7 million against the salary cap for another three seasons beyond this one, and there is some speculation that he could be traded if the Sharks retain a portion of his salary and are able to find a trade partner.
“We’re looking at all the options, working closely with the San Jose Sharks and other parties involved and hopefully there will be a resolution coming soon,” Milstein said.
Kane is originally from Vancouver and there has been some wonder if his hometown team could be a potential landing spot. As the Canucks tumble down the standings and face serious uncertainty about the future for the team, the GM and the coaching staff, this would appear an unlikely match at the moment. Still, after Kane passed through waivers, Milstein acknowledged he would be in communication with teams around the league.
“There are multiple options on the table so I can’t comment whether Vancouver is on the list or not, but certainly making a phone call is something I will be doing, so I will be discussing with various teams including Vancouver in the coming days and weeks.”
Though the date of Kane’s return to game action is still not known, the Barracuda’s next two games are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday in Abbotsford, B.C., where they’ll face the Canucks’ AHL affiliate.
Whenever he plays again, it will be Kane’s first game action since May 12. Despite this long layoff, the agent noted that Kane has been preparing for a return and will be ready when called upon.
“He’s been working out and getting ready to get back on the ice and taking care of his personal things as well. I expect when he does play to return and be better than he was last year.”