As Evander Kane continues to wait and see whether he will be able to play again this season, another team has entered the conversation to sign the free-agent winger.
“There’s nothing done, no contract or anything like that,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman explained during the 32 Thoughts segment on Hockey Night in Canada. “But the Capitals are another team in addition to the Oilers that have looked into this.”
Washington currently holds the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference so adding Kane would be seen as a chance to improve their forward depth especially with T.J. Oshie sidelined with an upper-body injury.
Oilers general manager Ken Holland confirmed that he had spoken to Kane’s agent and believed in “second chances.”
Teams looking to sign Kane are still waiting to learn whether there will be consequences for the embattled free-agent winger crossing the border while in COVID-19 protocol.
Kane tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 21 and then flew to Vancouver on Dec. 29. At that time, Kane would have still been in the 10-day AHL COVID-19 protocol. When the San Jose Sharks terminated Kane’s contract on Sunday, they said it was for “breach of his Standard Player Contract” and “violation of the AHL COVID-19 protocols.”
The NHL initially supported the Sharks’ move, saying it was “satisfied the club has sufficient grounds to effectuate a termination.” The NHLPA, however, challenged the termination before the current NHL investigation by filing a grievance.
Barring some kind of settlement, an arbitrator will rule on the issues raised in the grievance.
Before the season began, Kane was suspended for 21 games for the use of a fake COVID-19 vaccination card. When he was eligible to return, he joined the AHL’s San Jose Barracudas, where he had eight points in five games.
The COVID-protocol suspension at the start of the season was only one part of the controversy surrounding Kane, though.
The NHL also investigated allegations of domestic assault made by Anna Kane, his estranged wife, in a divorce filing, ultimately saying they “could not be substantiated.”
Anna Kane also said Evander Kane had bet on NHL games, including ones he played in with the Sharks, influencing their outcomes for his own financial benefit. The NHL’s investigation into those claims did not find evidence he had bet on hockey games.
The 30-year-old Kane had 22 goals and 22 assists for 44 points in 56 games last season for the Sharks. Kane also has played for the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise and Buffalo since being drafted by the Thrashers fourth overall in 2009.