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Deep Blue Sea: Evander Kane to join Oilers

Plus the Coyotes eye a 5,000-seat stadium, Byfield nets first NHL goal, hockey’s version of Wordle and more in today’s news and notes.

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San Jose Sharks left wing Evander Kane (9) skates during the third period against the Arizona Coyotes at SAP Center at San Jose. Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Get ready to see Evander Kane in navy blue, orange and white. Kane has officially signed with the Edmonton Oilers.

Kane’s agent, Dan Milstein, tweeted the news last night, saying the former no. 9 will wear 91 for Edmonton. Kane is already in Edmonton and the team hopes he can play in Saturday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Milstein didn’t tweet the details of the deal, but Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was happy to share.

Kane’s deal is $750,000 in salary with a $625,000 signing bonus and a full no-movement clause. The cap hit is approximately $2.1 million, but the exact number isn’t available at the time of this writing. His actual salary will be prorated through the remainder of the season.

The Oilers signed Kane just hours after the league released the findings of the investigation (conducted by Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP) into whether the 30-year-old forward misrepresented his COVID-19 status in order to cross the Unites States and Canadian border. The report said, “...there was insufficient evidence to ‘conclusively find that Mr. Kane knowingly made misrepresentations regarding his COVID-19 status or test results in connection with his international travel.’”

While the results of the investigation show that the NHL could not find sufficient evidence to prove that Kane broke the law, it does not mean that the San Jose Sharks were unjustified in terminating Kane’s contract. Remember, the Sharks placed Kane on waivers on Jan. 8, 2022 for the purposes of terminating his contract, saying Kane breached “...his NHL Standard Player Contract and [violated] the AHL COVID-19 Protocol.”

At the time, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN’s Emily Kaplan that the league was “...satisfied that [the Sharks had] adequate grounds to terminate.”

Reports later leaked that the termination stemmed from the fact that Kane was told to report back to the Barracuda before New Year’s Eve, but the forward didn’t return until the first week of January 2022. When the league found out that Kane was in Vancouver, Canada at the time, despite testing positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 22, 2021, that’s when the investigation was launched.

It’s a little confusing, but the league’s investigation was into a separate issue that had previously been conflated with the contract termination, but ultimately that decision came down to a different (and somewhat related) contract violation.

This signing does not mean the Sharks are off the hook for Kane’s salary. The NHLPA has filed a grievance over the termination of Kane’s contract. Many NHL insiders believe there will be a settlement worked out between the Sharks and Kane that will result in some amount of his contract being paid out.

Kane and the Oilers are expected to visit SAP Center on Feb. 14.

News & Notes

  • Evander Kane reportedly signs with Oilers after NHL finishes probe into his potential protocol violation [CBS Sports]
  • Why the Oilers are taking a chance on Kane, what they should expect from him and what comes next [The Athletic]
  • With an unforgettable night, Sharks defenseman makes his case to stay in lineup [The Mercury News]
  • 4 Takeaways as Sharks Win in the Nation’s Capital [The Hockey Writers]
  • NHL Contender Tier Rankings at the midpoint of the 2021-22 season [ESPN+]

Blood in the Water

  • If that’s the Flyers’ core, then it’s more rotten than their franchise-record winless streak [Broad Street Hockey]
  • Ron Hextall offers something of an update on Malkin, Letang contract negotiations [Pensburgh]
  • Red Wings midseason overperformers and underperformers [Winging it in Motown]
  • ECHL player Jason Panetta gets season ban for racist gesture [ESPN]
  • Report: Coyotes working on deal to play at 5,000-seat arena at ASU [Sportsnet]
  • LA Kings rookie Quinton Byfield nets his first NHL goal [NHL.com]
  • Ducks’ Trevor Zegras pulls off the Michigan again for sensational goal vs. Canadiens [Yahoo! Sports]
  • Gordle, the hockey version of Wordle, is a must play for any NHL fan [For the Win]
  • Two Northeastern Ice Hockey Stars are Headed to the Winter Olympics [Northeastern]
  • As Winter Olympics approach, women’s hockey leagues plan their next moves [The Seattle Times]
  • With NHL 22, women hockey players are ‘in the game’ for the first time [ESPN]

Scores & Recaps

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