The Boston Bruins are among the six NHL teams with a scout credential for an in-person look at troubled winger Evander Kane’s minor-league assignment, according to San Jose Sharks beat writer Curtis Pashelka.
So, that’s something. A whole lotta something in fact.
The last time we heard about Kane, it was for all the wrong reasons, as the Vancouver native found himself on the shelf for the first quarter of the season by way of a 21-game suspension for producing a fake vaccine card.
But Kane’s troubles go beyond the most recent ban. In 2021 alone, Kane has been in the news for his documented and admitted gambling problems and allegations of Kane betting on his own team’s games (allegations that Kane denied and that the NHL subsequently failed to find any evidence to support), as well as domestic abuse allegations from his ex-wife.
It was all enough for the Sharks to decide that they had seen enough, with the Sharks waiving Kane upon his reinstatement from the aforementioned suspension.
Waiving Kane spoke volumes in regards to the Sharks’ view on the situation and the baggage he comes with, too, considering the 30-year-old was coming off a 2021 season that included 22 goals and 49 points in 56 games. Over a normal 82-game season, that pace would’ve set Kane up for a career-best 32 goals and 72 points.
It probably didn’t help that Kane, who played with Atlanta (later Winnipeg) and Buffalo before landing with the Sharks in a Feb. 2018 trade, is also on the hook for $7 million per season through 2024-25. That’s a lot of cash committed to a guy that caused plenty of distractions off the ice and with the Sharks at an important crossroads as an organization.
It’s also a lot of money for any team willing to take a flier on the seven-time 20-goal scorer.
The money may not be a massive issue for any team interested in acquiring Kane, however, as the Sharks are reportedly willing to retain some money on a potential Kane deal to move him out of town. (The Sharks could eat up to 50 percent of Kane’s yearly money, making him a potential $3.5 million winger for his next team.)
The ‘simple’ question for the Bruins’ potential interest is whether or not there’s a fit for Kane in Boston.
In theory, yes. Especially when the Bruins move Jake DeBrusk out of town. The Bruins could do a lot worse than Kane on their third line behind Brad Marchand and Taylor Hall, especially if the Sharks are willing to eat significant money to move him out of town. Kane would also fit the Black and Gold’s need for more jam and finish around the front of the net, with over 60 percent of his 2021 goals coming from that high-danger area the Bruins have struggled to capitalize on, per Icy Data.
And while people praise the Boston locker room and their ability to get guys to buy in, there’s no doubt that Kane would be their greatest challenge yet. I mean, Kane’s struggles in San Jose hit the point where even his own teammates admitted that they weren’t sure how he’d be received in the locker room following his return to the locker room.
Along with the Bruins, the Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Dallas Stars also had scouts credentialed for Kane’s latest AHL showing.