Evander Kane was on social media today, dropping a gracious and heartfelt thank-you on Edmonton and Oilers fans in a post that also felt a wee bit like a good-bye.
Said Kane: “Thank you to all the fans who supported me this year. To everyone who doubted me, I thank you as well. To my Oilers teammates, I appreciate each and every single one of you for welcoming me in and embracing me in such a genuine way. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to play with such a committed, hardworking and loyal group of men. The Edmonton Oilers are a first class organization with such great staff from top to bottom and I thank them for giving me the opportunity to play for such a historic franchise. To the fans of Edmonton I thank you for treating my family and I with such kindness and respect. Thank you, 91.”
1. Is Evander Kane coming back to the Oilers? Who knows? What we do know is that the Edmonton Oilers are pressed up tight against the salary cap, that Kane himself has had all kinds of financial woes — from San Jose voiding his contract to personal bankruptcy —so he would seem to be in a position to where it’s well-advised he take the best and highest offer in free agency. There must be massive allure for him in coming back to Edmonton, to fans and teammates who have embraced him and to play with top talents like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but Kane must also take care of the financial well-being of himself and his family. It’s doubtful Edmonton will be able to make the top offer to Kane should he become an Unrestricted Free Agent.
2. It’s also the case that Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland has already said that it’s not possible for him to keep together this current Edmonton Oilers team due to salary cap constraints. “Can’t keep this team together. There’s no chance, the team that we just had, I can’t keep this team together because of salary cap. Some people might think, ‘That’s good, get rid of some of those people.’ But it’s the cap world. I’m going to try to make the team the best that I can. I know we got a really good nucleus.”
3. As for bringing back Kane, Holland said, “Am I interested in bringing him back? Yes, I think he had a big impact on our team.” Kane plays with an edge and had wonderful chemistry with Connor McDavid, Holland said, adding that he did not know if Kane wants to stay, but was meeting with him, a meeting which would have happened by now.
4. Why do I get that feeling that this was part good-bye note? I can’t read Kane’s mind so it’s just a gut feeling, just the overall vibe from the note, with some of it written in the past tense, for example, “I’m grateful to have had the opportunity.” I might well be reading too much into it, but it had the feeling of someone grateful for an opportunity, wanting to make sure Edmontonians knew that, but ready to explore what comes next. Does that make sense?
5. If Kane is moving along, that’s fair. He lived up to his end of the bargain in Edmonton, and then some. He did nothing but play his heart out for the team and provide the Oilers with the kind of skilled and tough power forward play that the franchise has forever needed. He brought some much needed swagger back to this team. If Kane is moving on, so be it, and good luck to him wherever he goes.
6. Just how good was Kane in the playoffs. He leads the NHL in goal scoring in the post season with 13 goals in his 15 games. He was third highest rated player by the Cult of Hockey player graders, after Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman, with Bruce McCurdy summing up those numbers and the Oilers in the playoffs in this post. In terms of his two-way performance, McDavid was the best Oilers forward by a long shot, +2.7 Grade A shots per game at even strength, followed by Leon Draisaitl, Zach Hyman and Kane, all at +1.7 Grade A shots per game, remarkable numbers all around. As I said, Kane more than fulfilled his end of the bargain.
P.S. And in the category of trade speculation:
Frank Seravalli has Tyson Barrie 8th on his Trade Target board, one of Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto 15th, and Oscar Klefbom’s contract at 20.
— x – Oilers News and Updates (@oilersaccess) June 9, 2022
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