Sharks get a financial boost from Evander Kane’s contract termination

San Jose Sharks needed offense when they approached the NHL Trade Deadline 2018. Their leading scorer, Brent Burns finished the season with just 67 points while Logan Couture was the team’s leading goal-scorer and the only player to hit 30 goals on the season.

Doug Wilson then made a significant trade for Evander Kane. After He had to get out of Winnipeg.The 26-year-old joined Sharks From the Buffalo SabresIn 17 games played before the Stanley Cup Playoffs, he scored nine goals and had 14 points. This success did not translate to the postseason.

Evander Kane, Buffalo Sabres, Dec. 14, 2017 (Amy IrvinThe Hockey Writers

The Sharks still wanted Kane to be part of their long-term plan. Kane’s conditional picks in the trade not only cost the Sharks $7million from 2018-19 through 2024-25 but also meant that the Sharks lost a 2019 draft selection.

Although the Sharks thought the move to San Jose and their culture built by Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, and Logan Couture could eradicate Kane’s off-ice troubles, that has not come to fruition.

The forward has had to deal with financial and gambling problems throughout his time in San Jose. On Nov. 5, 2019, a Las Vegas Casino sued him. $500k in gambling debts.He gambled even before the Sharks playoff game in 2019.

Kane will be available on Jan. 12, 2020 For Chapter 7 BankruptcyCentennial Bank has filed lawsuits and there are $1.5 million gambling debts. After the Sharks’ unimpressive 2020-21 season, Kane’s future with the Sharks looked even more uncertain.

Evander Kane San Jose Sharks-Evander Kane Contract Termination Gives Sharks Financial Boost
Evander Kane, San Jose Sharks (Amy Irvin/ The Hockey Writers

Reportedly, multiple players Kane’s discontent was voiced during exit interviews. Kane was discovered to be missing just ahead of the 2021 Sharks training camps. Created a fake vaccination certificateThe NHL suspended the forward. The contract of the forward was waived and he was allowed to participate in five American Hockey League matches.

Kane has been placed on unconditional waivers by the Sharks to terminate his contract. The organization will be doing so due to a “breach of his NHL Standard Player Contract and for violation of the AHL COVID-19 protocols.”

Kane and His Contract

The Sharks could be in the best position to terminate their contract. The Sharks would not be responsible for any remaining contract. CapFriendly reports that the 29-year-old will lose $22.9 million of his contract. The most likely outcome is a termination. The NHL’s Deputy Commissioner, Bill Daly, agrees with the franchise’s decision. “I can say we are satisfied that they have adequate grounds to terminate,” said Daly.

Bill Daly-Evander Kane Contract Termination Gives Sharks Financial Boost
Bill Daly is the NHL’s Deputy Commissioner and Chief Legal Officer (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images).

Now, the ball is in the court of the NHL’s Player Association. Twitter: The union declared that they “are aware of the San Jose Sharks’ stated intent to terminate Evander Kane’s contract.” The NHLPA intends to challenge any such action by filing a grievance.

Eventually, this will come down to if the league believes San Jose has sufficient grounds to terminate Kane’s contract. Dan Milstein, Kane’s agent, does not believe so. As he noted in a Tweet, “the Sharks do not have sufficient grounds for taking this action.”

We are aware of the Sharks’ decision to put Evander on waivers for contract termination. We will file grievances if Evander clears. This action is not warranted by the Sharks. #WeAreGoldStar!

Contract termination is based on a violation to AHL COVID-19 protocol. Per the Athletic’s Kevin Kurz, “The Sharks’ Evander Kanes’ contract termination stems primarily from him traveling to Vancouver while COVID positive, according to multiple sources.”

The Sharks would have $7 million in salary-cap room if Kane cleared waivers and had his contract taken off their books. This includes 2021-22.

Sharks Have Financial Stability

While in the AHL, Kane’s depressed cap hit of $5.8 million was essentially wasted. The Sharks now have much more money available to them at the NHL Trade Deadline. The Sharks have one point more than the Edmonton Oilers to secure the second Western Conference wild card spot. Many teams are behind the Sharks, however, with at least two fewer games.

Related: Sharks are Most Likely to Return Next Year with 4 Free Agents

Speaking of the team’s victory yesterday, the victory was fueled by Tomas Hertl’s natural hat trick. Hertl has now scored 20 goals this year. He is currently on pace to score 47 goals and 71 points in the 2021-22 season. This year of record-setting goal scoring for the Czech center will give him a big payday this summer when he can go unrestricted in free agency.

Tomas Hertl, Braden Holtby-Evander Kane Contract Termination Gives Sharks Financial Boost
San Jose Sharks Tomas Hertl celebrates the win for his hat trick, which he scored past Braden Holtby of Washington Capitals. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

I was previously extremely pessimistic that Sharks could keep Hertl and their key restricted agents in the upcoming offseason. Mario Ferraro Jonathan Dahlen Jacob Middleton, Nikolai Knyzhov, and Mario Ferraro all needing extensions, $15-16M seemed insufficient to keep Hertl and all the kids.

CapFriendly makes me much more optimistic. The Sharks have more than $21 million in salary-cap room, so they could likely extend Hertl and all of their players at $7-8 million.

The process could prove to be difficult for the Sharks. There’s no telling how long this ordeal could continue should the NHLPA try blocking the contract termination. Kane’s future in the NHL may be delayed.

After his fake vaccination card was brought to the league’s attention, Kane received a 21-game suspension. A second violation of COVID protocols could result in a similar punishment, if not longer, from the NHL.

Evander Kane,Mike Smith-Evander Kane Contract Termination Gives Sharks Financial Boost
San Jose Sharks’ Evander Kane shoots on Edmonton Oilers’ Mike Smith (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The Sharks have now more cap space for the Mar trade deadline. 21. Wilson could use this space to keep salary in trades to acquire future assets, or to rent to be in the 2022 NHL Playoffs.