When Evander Kane's 21-game suspension for violating the NHL's COVID-19 protocols ends on November 30th, he won't be returning to the San Jose Sharks.
The Sharks made sure of that on Sunday afternoon, placing their leading scorer from last season on waivers ahead of his official reinstatement in the coming days. If Kane goes unclaimed, the intent is reportedly for him to be sent to the Sharks' AHL affiliate.
It's the only feasible option at this point in time, frankly.
Given his extensive disciplinary history, toxic reputation as a teammate, and expensive cap hit, finding another team to take Kane off San Jose's hands is likely next to impossible. Sending him to the AHL at least ensures that he's away from the team, who have made it quite clear that they do not want him back, while also saving the Sharks $1.075 million in buriable salary.
Kane will count for roughly $6 million against the cap despite not playing for the Sharks at all, however. That's an untenable situation, with San Jose already close to the ceiling given their bevvy of long, pricey deals.
What is likely the hope here is that Kane performs well in the AHL, proves that his dedication to reform is genuine, and becomes an attractive asset for a team in need of scoring depth.
It's a long shot. But, it's the only choice the Sharks have.