Days after Evander Kane’s contract was terminated by the San Jose Sharks, all eyes have focused on where the player may land next.
There’s been no lack of interest, with up to 20 teams reportedly expressing some level of interest in the highly controversial sniper.
And on Tuesday morning, Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland became the first to speak to such interest.
“The first step is to get an understanding of everything that’s gone in that person’s life and what’s going on,” Holland said. “I believe in second chances — it’s hard to be perfect.”
Kane’s off-ice issues have been well documented. He was suspended for 21 games this year for producing a fake COVID vaccination card. He’s also has had allegations of gambling on hockey games and domestic abuse, as well as a lawsuit against him from the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas that has since been dropped. The NHL determined neither the gambling nor the domestic abuse allegations could be substantiated, but that isn’t the same as Kane being found innocent in a court of law.
The Sharks, too, tried to trade Kane this offseason after it was alleged he had a general “disrespect for team rules” such as being late for practices and games, and that it came with “zero consequences,” The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz reported.
From the Oilers' front, in order to sign Kane, they would need to feel Kane wouldn’t disrupt what is an already-fragile team plummeting down the NHL standings.
On the ice, he undoubtedly would be a solid top-six addition. Kane would have the opportunity to play alongside one of Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl, which could be a potent combination.
The Oilers are no strangers to second chances. They signed Craig MacTavish in 1985 after he served a one-year sentence for vehicular homicide, while driving under the influence of alcohol.
The team also acquired Zack Kassian in 2015 after the forward admitted an alcohol addiction that resulted in him utilizing the NHL/NHLPA program for substance abuse and behavioral health.