Oilers, Evander Kane agree to contract for rest of season

Brandon Magnus / National Hockey League / Getty

The Edmonton Oilers and unrestricted free-agent forward Evander Kane agreed to a contract for the remainder of the 2021-22 campaign, the team announced Thursday.

Kane's deal will contain a $750,000 salary, a $625,000 signing bonus, an approximate cap hit of $2.1 million, and a full no-movement clause, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reports.

The NHL suspended Kane 21 games in October for violating the NHL/NHLPA's COVID-19 protocol after he allegedly used a fake vaccine card.

Following the suspension, the San Jose Sharks terminated Kane's previous contract in early January "for breach of his NHL Standard Player Contract and for violation of AHL COVID-19 protocols." The team had him signed through 2024-25 with a $7-million annual cap hit. The NHLPA filed a grievance on his behalf.

The league also investigated Kane for allegedly crossing the U.S.-Canada border eight days after testing positive for COVID-19 in December. However, Kane will not face discipline for this due to insufficient evidence, the league announced Thursday.

Kane has made numerous other off-ice headlines throughout his career:

  • In 2016, Kane was arrested a month after allegedly grabbing three women by the hair and neck in separate incidents on the same night at a bar in downtown Buffalo. The charges were eventually dismissed.
  • In 2018, a woman filed a lawsuit against Kane, alleging he failed to follow through on an agreement to pay her $3 million to abort their baby. Kane and his lawyers denied the claim.
  • In 2019, a Las Vegas casino sued Kane, alleging he failed to pay back $500,000 in gambling markers he received earlier in the year.
  • In January 2021, Kane filed for bankruptcy with $26.8 million worth of debt.
  • In July 2021, the NHL investigated Kane after his wife alleged he threw games to support his gambling addiction. The league later cleared him of this matter after finding no evidence to support the claim.

San Jose reportedly tried trading Kane back in the summer. Strained relationships with several teammates apparently played a major reason in the Sharks wanting to move him.

This also wasn't Kane's first involvement in an apparent rift among teammates. In 2015 as a member of the Winnipeg Jets, teammate Dustin Byfuglien reportedly threw Kane's tracksuit in the shower to send a message after the latter showed up to a team meeting in casual attire, which violated team policy. Kane skipped the Jets' game that night, and they traded him to the Buffalo Sabres less than a week later.

Kane has been a highly productive power forward when he's on the ice. The 30-year-old has averaged 28 goals and 26 assists per 82 games in his 12-year career. Last campaign, Kane led the Sharks with 22 goals, 27 assists, and 49 points in 56 games, and his 0.88 points per game marked a career high.

In five games this season with the AHL's San Jose Barracuda, Kane recorded two goals and six assists.

In Edmonton, Kane will likely get a chance to play left wing alongside either Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl. The Oilers currently sit 10th in the Western Conference in points percentage. The club got off to a blazing-hot start but has won just four of its last 17 games.

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Oilers, Evander Kane agree to contract for rest of season
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