In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Gord Miller of TSN is one of just many media members commenting on the Evander Kane situation. He notes, “ From what I hear, he’ll have a contract with a new team by the end of the week.” Miller isn’t the only one who is following the situation closely.
Michael Traikos reports a source close to Kane said the winger wants to play for a championship contender on a one-year deal worth $1.5 million to $2 million. Among the teams reaching out to Kane’s agent, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Vegas Golden Knights have already been identified as teams with reported interest in Kane’s services.
Outside of all the Evander Kane talk, there is also news on the Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Anaheim Ducks.
Holland Has Reached Out to Kane’s Agent
The Edmonton Oilers are rumored to be heavily interested in Kane and he’s said to have them in his top five landing spots. Prior to Holland confirming that he has spoken with Kane’s agent, as per NHL insider Darren Dreger, who appeared on TSN 1260 and noted:
“I know the Oilers have made calls (on Evander Kane). I know Kenny Holland has talked to the agent, Dan Milstein…I think Edmonton, if they stay interested, and it seems that they are, would probably be in the top 5 (teams) from Kane’s perspective.”
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported on Monday’s episode of “That’s Hockey.”:
“What would I tell you is that the Edmonton Oilers, for example, I know are one of those teams that have kicked tires,” “Does that translate into a bonafide contract offer? I can’t tell you that.”
Meanwhile, Holland met with the media Tuesday morning and noted that he believes in second chances and isn’t afraid of reclamation projects. Elliotte Friedman reports that Holland has changed his mind about trading the team’s first-round pick in 2022. Holland was open to it, but sources say that the team is not playing well enough and their record doesn’t lend itself to moving such a valued pick. Holland did confirm during his presser on Tuesday that he’s not trading a top pick or a high-end prospect for a rental.
Is Kane Interested in Canucks?
Rick Dhaliwal reports that the Canucks hadn’t reached out to Kane’s camp as of late yesterday morning and it’s not clear if the organization has any desire to try and sign the forward. Still, Kane’s agent Milstein said he plans on talking to Vancouver to see if there is any interest.
That’s an intriguing bit of news because it could mean the agent is calling everywhere to get as many options as possible, or it could mean Kane has a keen interest in Vancouver and wants to see if they feel the same way. If Kane’s got 15-20 teams calling, but he’s calling them, that would make the Canucks an early favorite if they showed interest.
Canucks Looking at Trading Halak?
We’ve reported it previously, but Jaroslav Halak is back in the rumor mill as the Toronto Star’s Chris Johnston is reporting the Canucks are open to the idea of trading the backup goaltender. However, Dhaliwal doesn’t understand where the sudden need to trade him is coming from.
Halak has two performance bonuses in his contract totaling $1.5 million that will count against the Canucks cap payroll for 2022-23 if he reaches them. That said, it was likely he would reach them when the deal was signed. The bigger issue for Dhaliwal is how Halak’s agent was able to get him a no-move clause worked into his deal. His current cap hit is $1.5 million and he’d be a strong backup for a number of teams but Halak will have total control over where he winds up.
Robertson Close to Return for Maple Leafs
Top Toronto Maple Leafs’ prospect Nick Robertson has been out of the lineup since mid-October of 2021. He is recovering from a leg injury and the Marlies AHL head coach, Greg Moore, says Robertson is skating again and could play in a “couple of weeks.”
This is excellent news for both Robertson and Toronto as much of his career has been plagued with repeated injuries and the Leafs could use him healthy and available as a depth forward during a playoff push.
As for the Maple Leafs’ interest in Kane, it is said that Dubas has inquired and would be willing to add the forward. Toronto is going all in this season and the team would be willing to take the risks associated with signing Kane if it meant a better chance of winning.
Bergevin Looking at Ducks?
Elliotte Friedman noted while on The Jeff Marek Show noted that the Los Angeles Kings hiring of Marc Bergevin may be little more than a short stop-over for the former Canadiens GM. Friedman believes that Bergevin simply wants to keep his feet in the game and stay a part of the league, but will be looking at a bigger role with another organization next season.
Friedman is assuming he’s got his eye on Anaheim in particular.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”