Evander Kane is one intriguing player. He’s had problems both on and off the ice, he’s been extremely inconsistent, and is someone who has yet to really find a home in the NHL.
When you’re a player that has been with the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets, Buffalo Sabres, and now the San Jose Sharks, it’s clear that there is an issue somewhere despite all the talent that he has for someone who will turn 27 this month.
May 23 was a big change for Kane. The Sharks showed their faith in him that day by signing him to a 7-year-deal at 7 million a year.
While Kane was great with the Sharks in his limited time with them last season (14 points in 17 games), that’s a lot of coin for someone who really has yet to prove anything in his nine years in the league. This is concern number one.
The most points he has ever put up in a season is 57. This happened in 2011-12 with the the Winnipeg Jets. Yes, he put up 54 points this year with the Sabres/Sharks, but again, these are his highest totals, which is not much for someone who was the fourth overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
Secondly, this contract is sure to put pressure on Kane. He did not play with the greatest teams prior to being acquired by the Sharks at the deadline.
According to Matt Larkin of The Hockey News, Kane’s contract puts him behind the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Jamie Benn, Claude Giroux, and Zach Parise in cap hit among left wingers. These players have all proven something at this level whether it be in the regular season or postseason.
Kane has yet to do that in this league. He’s never come close to be among the he top point getters, goal leaders, assist leaders, etc. and with this contract, the Sharks are paying him like he is one of those guys.
Lastly, this contract could end up being a big problem for the Sharks. With what they are paying Kane, they are basically saying that Kane is going to be a big point producer for them for the next seven years.
This means that Kane will need to be healthy, be better than what he has been so far, and be someone that the Sharks can count on for the next seven years. That’s asking a lot out of someone who has never cracked 60 points.
There is no doubt that Kane is a good player who played well as soon as he got to San Jose. With that said, are the Sharks asking too much out of him and will they get what they expect from Kane in order to make the contract worth it?
That’s a lot of questions, money, and pressure for the team and Kane. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.