Sabres Trade Kane to Sharks

The Buffalo Sabres have traded winger Evander Kane to the  San Jose Sharks in exchange for a conditional first-round pick in 2019, a conditional fourth-round pick and a prospect, Elliotte Friedman announced Monday. The first-round pick will become a second-round pick if the Sharks do not re-sign Kane and is lottery protected.

Kane was one of the biggest names on the market given his ability to produce offense and his young age. Still, the Sabres didn’t get quite the return they were looking for when reports first started swirling.

When Kane was traded to the Sabres from the Winnipeg Jets along with defenseman Zach Bogosian in a deal that saw Tyler Myers, Brandon Lemieux, Joel Armia, Drew Stafford and a first-round pick sent to the Jets, many thought the Kane saga was finally over. The constant rumors surrounding the oft-troubled winger would die down and everybody could move on with their lives.

To be fair, that was the case for two full seasons from 2015-16 until 2016-17. Kane was playing good hockey in Buffalo, scoring 20 goals in 65 games in his first year with the team followed by 28 goals in 70 games in his second.

Evander Kane Sabres
Evander Kane, Buffalo Sabres, Dec. 14, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

After lighting the NHL on fire in his first 23 games this season, it seemed like the Sabres were going to extend Kane to a long-term contract. At 26 years old, it would make sense to figure him into the team’s long-term plans given his offensive ability and size at 6 foot 2 and 212 pounds. The Sabres season soon turned ugly, however, and with Kane once again finding himself in the news for the wrong reasons, he once again found his name on the trading block.

Unfortunately, for the Sabres, Kane’s production had seriously fallen off. In his last 37 games, Kane has scored only seven goals and 16 points, including a stretch of 14 games without a goal and only one assist from the start of January until the start of February. With such a colossal collapse, the Sabres expected return of a first-round draft pick, a prospect, a conditional draft pick and a roster player was simply unrealistic.

Sharks Looking For a Stanley Cup

The Sharks obviously found common ground, proposing a deal that both could accept moving forward. It could have significant ramifications on the Sharks, however, as they will be without their first-round picks in each of the next two seasons as a result if Kane re-signs. With Stanley Cup aspirations, it’s clear that the Sharks are thinking about winning now without stressing about the future. For them, the hope is that Kane’s production will once again pick up after this change of scenery.

Evander Kane Sabres
Evander Kane, Buffalo Sabres, Dec. 14, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Sharks currently sit in second-place in the Pacific Division standings. They have a legitimate chance of making the postseason thing year and making a run, though the competition in the Western Conference is very tight and there are quite a few teams in the race. With the addition of Kane, the hope for the Sharks isn’t just that they’ll qualify for the postseason, but that they can make it to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in three seasons. This time, however, they’ll be hoping for a different outcome.