NHL Rumors: East team interested in Evander Kane, Sharks willing to retain salary, and next Habs GM

next canadiens gm
Apr 12, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens logo as seen before the game against Toronto Maple Leafs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane is expected to clear waivers today and join the team’s AHL affiliate.

On Oct. 19, Kane received a 21-game suspension from the NHL for violating COVID-19 protocols. He reportedly submitted a false COVID-19 vaccination card.

His suspension ends today, as San Jose plays its 21st game Sunday against the host Chicago Blackhawks.

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NHL Rumors: Evander Kane

“Over the past few weeks, we have been discussing Evander’s return to San Jose,” Kane’s agent Dan Milstein said in a statement. “We were not surprised by the Sharks’ decision to put him on waivers and, if he does clear, he will report to the Barracudas. Evander is looking forward to resuming his NHL career this season.”

Kane, 30, is in the fourth year of a seven-year, $49 million contract he signed with the Sharks in May 2018. Last season, he led the Sharks in goals (22) and assists (27) while appearing in all 56 games.

evander kane rumors
May 8, 2021; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks left wing Evander Kane (9) during the third period against the Arizona Coyotes at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Multiple reports surfaced yesterday that San Jose would be willing to retain half of Kane’s salary. That means the acquiring team’s cap hit would be just $3.5 million. Per Rick Dhaliwal, Kane’s agent has also been reaching out to teams to help facilitate a trade.

Larry Brooks of the NY Post also noted in his Sunday Slap Shot column that an “Eastern Conference team has shown considerable interest in dealing for Evander Kane.”

Speculation around the rumor mill indicates that the team is one with strong locker room leadership. That directed the chatter to either the Hurricanes, Lightning, or Islanders fitting the bill. All three teams have no cap space this season, but could gain some using LTIR.

A possible third team may also be enlisted to help reduce the cap hit further.

Potential Canadiens GM candidates

The Montreal Canadiens fired general manager Marc Bergevin on Sunday following the team’s disappointing 6-15-2 start. They also made the wise move and brought in former New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton as the executive vice president of hockey operations.

“A process to recruit, as soon as possible, the team’s next general manager is under way,” the Canadiens said in a statement. “While the next general manager will bring significant hockey expertise to the organization, an additional criterion of that person’s role will be to communicate with fans in both French and English.”

The prerequisite of needing to be able to speak French will certainly limit the field, but there are several quality candidates out there.

Names being mentioned in the early stages are as follows:

  • Mathieu Darche
  • Patrick Roy
  • Roberto Luongo
  • Martin Madden Jr.

Of the names listed above, and there are sure to be more, two names stand out.

Roberto Luongo has done an amazing job with Team Canada leading them to a World Championship this past summer,. However, Mathieu Darche would be an incredible choice.

Darche has been Tampa Bay’s Director of Hockey Operations since 2019. He retired from playing in 2013 as a member of the Lightning. The 44 year-old is an up and coming star in the executive ranks. He’s also familiar of what it’s like to play in Montreal spending three seasons there from 2009 to 2012.

During the 2012 lockout, Darche played a role for the NHLPA’s negotiating team to get a new CBA. That’s where he garnered the skills to help current Lightning GM Julien BriseBois with managing the cap and contract negotiations.

Darche would bring a fresh approach and bring in some new ideas to the Habs. He has been an integral part of the NHL’s most successful franchise over the last several years and appears ready for an increased role.