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Evander Kane close to major extension with Sharks

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The 26-year-old might be here to stay.

May 6, 2018; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks left wing Evander Kane (9) warms up before the game against the Vegas Golden Knights in game six of the second round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center at San Jose.  Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

According to Sportsnet’s Irfaan Gaffar, the Sharks are close to a massive contract extension with Evander Kane.

Kane was traded to the Sharks at the trade deadline. He provided nine goals and five assists in 17 regular season games. Though hampered by a torn MCL and a separated shoulder, he added an additional five points (four goals, one assist) over nine playoff games. His new deal is set to be worth around 49 million dollars over seven years, giving him the 26th-highest overall salary among forwards. This contract would give the winger quite the raise, as his previous deal with Buffalo carried a $5.2 million cap hit.

The Sharks have more work to do this off-season, as re-signing Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl, both of whom are due substantial raises, are top priorities. While Kane’s deal does not appear to be an obstacle in retaining the duo, it is unclear how the Sharks will be able to also bring back Joe Thornton and potentially make a run for John Tavares without making an additional transaction or two to shed salary, even accounting for the rising salary cap. Candidates to be shipped out include Mikkel Boedker ($4M AAV) and Paul Martin ($4.85M AAV). The latter may appeal to teams looking to add a depth defenseman or veteran leadership, while the former serves as a good third-line option for many contenders.

This offseason is shaping up to be a pivotal one (again) for San Jose, both due to the options available on the open market and the pending status of Joe Thornton. With tanking out of the question due to the horrendous TV deal and the heavy financial reliance on gate revenues, the Sharks need to find ways to keep the team in contention for a Stanley Cup.

Provided he maintains his level of play from the regular season, Kane’s signing may help ensure that. But given his tendencies toward injury and that he would be under contract until he’s 33-years-old, there’s a major potential for a downside in the Sharks’ long-term future.