Photo: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
According to Sportnet’s Elliotte Freidman, the Washington Capitals are considering signing unrestricted free agent left-wing Evander Kane, who’s contract was terminated by the San Jose Sharks on January 9. No contract has been offered yet.
HNIC reporting that the Washington Capitals have potential interest in Evander Kane.
— Mark Scheig (@markscheig) January 23, 2022
The 30-year-old has 264 goals and 506 points in 769 career regular-season game with the Sharks, Buffalo Sabres, and Winnipeg Jets/Atlanta Thrashers but comes with some major off-ice issues. The Sharks terminated his contract after Kane travelled to Vancouver with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda while positive for COVID-19 despite the fact that he led the team in goals (22), assists (27), and points (49) in 56 games last season.
The NHL suspended Kane, who has hit the 20-goal mark seven times in his 11-season NHL career and 40-point mark eight, for 21 games after crossing the United States-Canada border while COVID-19 positive.
Despite his production, Kane is expected to cost around league-minimum due to his off-ice issues. With left-wing Anthony Mantha out indefinitely after undergoing shoulder surgery on November 5 and right-wing T.J. Oshie being limited to 18 out of 42 games this season due to numerous injuries, the need for some reinforcement is understandable even though the Capitals have had prospects such as centers Connor McMichael and Aliaksei Protas step up this season.
Despite the injuries in addition to missing center Nicklas Backstrom for 33 of them, the Capitals rank 10th in the NHL with an average of 3.27 goals-per-game. Kane also scored a career-high 14 power-play goals as recent as two seasons ago and has 47 career goals on the man advantage. The Capitals entered Saturday 30th in the league with a 15% power-play efficiency.
Kane can sign a contract and play this season until March 21, the NHL Trade Deadline.
The Sharks are scheduled to visit the Capitals on Wednesday. The Capitals will host the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington locally, NHL Network nationally).
By Harrison Brown