NHL Rumors: Kane on hold, Rangers linked to Hertl, and Bettman says no to Quebec

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The Edmonton Oilers supposedly have a deal in place to sign unrestricted free agent Evander Kane. Even if that is the case, the NHL’s probe into Kane’s COVID protocol violation is causing pause.

Enough so that the 30 year-old forward is pumping the brakes himself.

NHL Rumors: Kane signing on hold

“I would say that Evander Kane has put things on hold in terms of trying to make a decision and narrowing down his teams,” Chris Johnston said on TSN Insider Trading. “It was going to take a couple of days, out of respect for those teams, while the NHL conducts investigations into the allegations from his time in the American Hockey League.”

Kane received a 21-game NHL suspension in October for submitting a fake vaccination card. He appeared in five games with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda this season and tallied two goals and six assists before being placed in the protocol on Dec. 22.

Kane led the Sharks in goals (22) and assists (27) while appearing in all 56 games last season.

While it is possible he could sign a deal, the risk of a season long suspension would mean dead cap space for the acquiring team.

Rangers linked to Hertl

nhl rumors sharks
Tomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks scores a goal the New York Rangers (Photo by Don Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

Kane has filed a grievance with the NHLPA over the Sharks termination of his contract. His agent Dan Milstein said that San Jose had “no grounds” to do so.

Depending on how that goes, the Sharks could have $7 million in cap space to sign UFA forward Tomas Hertl. However, if they can’t the New York Rangers are ready to pounce.

“There were talks last summer and Hertl’s camp, led by Newport Sports, said that the Sharks were interested in talking extension at the time. But now that there might be more cap room, I expect the Sharks to circle back over the next month here and perhaps make an offer to Hertl,” LeBrun reported on Insider Trading.

Of course, the NHL Trade Deadline of March 21 will come upon teams quickly. If the two sides can’t work out a deal would the Sharks make him available? 
“He has almost a 100 per cent no-trade clause,” LeBrun added. “Only three teams are on his “yes” list. He has lots of control and one team to keep an eye on is the New York Rangers, who I think have him on their list.”

Hertl would be a great fit for a Rangers playoff run. He could automatically slot as a top six winger. He also has the ability to play center which could prove valuable going beyond this season.

Hertl is 28 years-old and in the final year of a deal that has a $5.625M cap hit. Last season, he recorded 43 points in 50 games. This season, he’s keeping a similar scoring pace with 31 points in 38 contests.

Bettman says no to Quebec Nordiques part deux

The NHL rumors began to fly in the province of Quebec in late November when Premier François Legault told RDS, “I spoke with [Mr. Bettman], and we have meetings with him in the coming months.”

This brought out many questions, and also a feeling of nostalgia for the old Nordiques that relocated to Colorado and became the Avalanche in 1995.

Well that meeting took place and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said thank you, but no thank you.

“We explained that, while we were appreciative and flattered by the interest expressed, unfortunately, we were not aware of any opportunity that could address that interest at the current time,” Bettman said in a statement.