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Deep Blue Sea: McDavid opens door to Kane, “We’re here to win games”

McDavid speaks on the potential for Evander Kane to join the Oilers, plus Eichel skating again, Rem Pitlick claimed, and more in today’s news and notes

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Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on January 3, 2022 in New York City. Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

Oh, Connor McDavid. With so few words, he seemed to say it all.

The rumors are swirling on a potential new landing place for Evander Kane, and one likely spot seems to be the Edmonton Oilers. Kane’s agent, Dan Milstein of Gold Star Sports Management has reported that he’s spoken with several teams, and confirmed that one of them was the Oilers.

There’s a lot going on behind the scenes that will impact whether or not the Oilers actually sign Kane, and the grievance filed with the NHLPA against the Sharks’ decision to terminate his contract, along with the NHL’s investigation into his alleged breach of COVID Protocol is just the tip of the iceberg of the culture issues that surround Kane.

But whether or not the baggage Kane brings (i.e., the long list of documented lawsuits and allegations over the past decade) is of concern to the Oilers is dominating the conversation. General manager Ken Holland has approached the dressing room regarding the potential for Kane’s addition into the room, and if there would be any concerns from the Oilers’ leadership group.

And when asked about it in media, McDavid had a lot to say:

“Right now, it’s all speculation … Obviously, Evander is an amazing player and he’s had lots of success over the last couple of years. Whatever else is going on, it’s not something I look into much … I’m not really here to discuss optic issues. If fans don’t like it, or the media doesn’t like it, or whatever. It is what it is.”

McDavid continued to express his perspective, saying, “I’m sure there’s lots of things that go on, on the ice and what not that fans don’t like. We don’t necessarily have to discuss those with you guys … The public opinion is obviously something that matters a lot, but we’re here to try to win games.”

Along with the commentary about what kind of leadership McDavid embodies, there’s a lot to unpack within his dismissal and invalidation of the concerning allegations and lawsuits that surround Kane. When now former-Oilers defender Ethan Bear was the subject of racist abuse from fans, he expressed how he “felt like an island” at times within the Oilers locker room.

The Oilers may or may not sign Evander Kane, but it’s clear that he may have a place in the locker room, for better or worse.

News & Notes

Blood in the Water

  • Connor McDavid downplays Evander Kane’s off-ice issues amid Oilers rumors [Yahoo! Sports]
  • Canucks gauging progress against league titans during ‘huge trip’ [Sportsnet]
  • Report: Avalanche’s Byram told father, ‘I can’t play and feel like this’ [Sportsnet]
  • Matthews returns home with a chance to make Leafs history [TSN]
  • Irritated Provorov vents his frustration with NHL’s COVID-19 process [NBC]
  • NHL investigation gives Oilers more time to ponder questions about Kane [Sportsnet]
  • ‘Botched.’ What Hurricanes coach said about Flyers game postponement, COVID in NHL [News & Observer]
  • Eichel skates with Golden Knights first time since neck surgery [NHL]
  • Canadiens claim forward Rem Pitlick off waivers [Montreal Canadiens]

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