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What Will the Sharks do with Evander Kane?

Evander Kane's 21-game suspension for violating the NHL's COVID-19 protocol raises further questions about the 30-year-old winger's future with the San Jose Sharks.
Evander Kane

Evander Kane's 21-game suspension for violating the NHL's COVID-19 protocol raises further questions about the 30-year-old winger's future with the San Jose Sharks.

Kane has been the subject of headlines throughout this year, first by filing for bankruptcy followed by a messy divorce amid accusations from his estranged wife of betting on NHL games and domestic violence. League investigations found those two allegations could not be substantiated. Meanwhile, reports emerged of a strained relationship among his teammates over his behavior and flouting team rules last season.

Until the investigations were concluded, Kane and the Sharks agreed he'd stay away from training camp and the start of the season. His suspension delays his return until late November.

The Athletic's Kevin Kurz believes Sharks general manager Doug Wilson faces some tough questions over Kane's future with the club. The winger is signed through 2024-25 with an annual average value of $7 million. He won't be paid during his suspension and his cap hit won't count against the Sharks payroll during that period.

TSN's Pierre LeBrun recently speculated whether the Sharks could get into the bidding for Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel if Kane's contract came off their books. How that might happen has yet to be determined.

Kurz wondered how the Sharks can bring Kane back given all that's transpired. Some observers suggested the Sharks could use his suspension as a breach of contract for failing to abide by the rules governing player conduct. According to TSN's Chris Johnston, the CBA prevents them from doing so.

Kane's personal baggage and hefty contract make him almost impossible to trade. Demotion to the minors or telling him to stay home for the rest of the season could be the Sharks' only options. 

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