Oilers, Lightning and Bruins

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there is still a ton of talk that Evander Kane is going to become an Edmonton Oilers forward, but there is a delay in that signing potentially happening. In fact, Kane might be facing more legal issues and an investigation into the player’s travel history is underway. The Kane sweepstakes was reportedly abandoned by the Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins and Boston Bruins. Speaking of the Lightning, it is being said their plans are to stay relatively quiet during this year’s trade deadline. The Toronto Maple Leafs may be considering John Klingberg as a defenseman.

You can delay a possible signing of Evander Kane

The Edmonton Oilers, or any other team, could have issues signing Kane as a UFA after Kane was tested positive for COVID. The NHL is apparently looking into allegations that the former Sharks’ forward crossed the border right after testing positive for COVID and that could result in another suspension by the league, not to mention real legal troubles. This could affect his availability to the team that signs him.

Evander Kane, San Jose Sharks, Oct. 9, 2018 (Amy Irvin/ The Hockey Writers

As per Frank SeravalliDaily Faceoff, a memo sent by the league to all 32 clubs about Kane. The NHL launched an independent investigation into Kane’s cross-border travel during the Holiday Period. They want to make sure that Kane’s travel was in compliance with Canadian and U.S. law. If he didn’t follow the rules, not only could he be suspended again, but he could face a criminal investigation for giving false testimony and violating the Canadian federal Quarantine Act. This could lead to jail time.

Oilers still prefer Land Kane to Oilers

While it sounds like Tampa Bay has pulled out of the running, according to Shawn Simpson of TSN, “Sounds like Kane is already signed by Edmonton for $1.5 million pro rated. Technically he needs to be under contract before any suspension kicks in.” While there is some pushback from other reporters that a deal is in place, Simpson adds:

The Oilers also have another problem. You won’t register the contract now, and then find out he’s suspended the rest of the year. This would result in a loss of money and cap space. You want to know how long it will take for the league investigation?

Connor McDavid said during a media avail that he doesn’t care about the optics of what adding Kane to the Oilers roster might suggest. His job is to worry about wins and McDavid noted, “If fans don’t like it, or the media doesn’t like it, or whatever… it is what it is.” He added, “I think Evander is a great player and can help us a lot on the ice and that’s first a foremost”.

Head coach Dave Tippett said he was not prepared to comment about a guy that isn’t on their team yet. He’s got bigger issues to worry about.

Lightning to Stay Quiet at Deadline

It’s been said before, but reports are that the Lightning don’t plan to be terribly active during this year’s NHL trade deadline. Joe Smith of [Update News] is reporting that GM Julien BriseBois doesn’t think it will be a busy time of year for the team given their salary cap position.

Julien Brisebois Tampa Bay Lightning
Julien Brisebois is the General Manager of Tampa Bay Lightning. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images).

He quotes BriseBois as saying:

“This year, we have no cap space. We cannot send any player to the minors without waivers. None of our players would be willing to waive waivers. There is absolutely no cap space. If we’re looking to add a player, it means subtracting a player, and all of our players are good players on good contracts and provide really good value. So it’s unlikely we’re going to find a player we can acquire that brings more value for cap hit than whatever player we would be moving out.”

source – ‘Five things we learned from Lightning GM Julien BriseBois, including why they passed on Evander Kane’ – ‘Joe Smith – [Update News] – 01/12/2022

Bruins Weren’t Seriously in on Kane

According to Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy, if things between Kane and the Oilers fall through, don’t expect him to suit up with the Boston Bruins. Sources say at most the club made an inquiry but the process didn’t go very far.

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said general manager Don Sweeney hasn’t consulted him about signing the former San Jose Sharks winger and one would assume that a GM is going to talk his coach and a number of the key members of the leadership group before making that kind of decision.

Maple Leafs and Klingberg

Sportsnet’s Luke Fox recently suggested the Maple Leafs are out of the running for Kane but also noted that Dallas Stars’ defenseman John Klingberg could be a good fit. Suggesting the Leafs might be interested if they can find sufficient cap space, Fox pointed out GM Kyle Dubas’ willingness to spend big and get creative ahead of the trade deadline.

Fox writes:

Klingberg’s cap hit ($4.25 million) is a bargain for what he brings: 52 games of playoff experience in which he’s put up 34 points; good size (6-foot-3, 190 pounds); and the ability to munch 22 minutes a night. The rental market won’t bring many defencemen of Klingberg’s calibre, and it is no secret Dubas would like to upgrade either Justin Holl or Travis Dermott from his right side. Klingberg’s speed, poise and hockey sense could complement Jake Muzzin nicely.