I previously talked about a scenario where the Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks could actually work out a trade that would see Evander Kane come back to the Oilers if San Jose loses their grievance case with him and takes his full contract back. Should the Oilers still want to pursue Kane after that happens, it would leave GM Ken Holland little choice but to trade for Kane after San Jose “reclaims their asset.” The issue there is dealing with other teams potentially getting involved.
There might be a third option.
The Sharks and Oilers could come up with a settlement prior to the arbitrator ruling. That settlement would be a trade the two teams agreed to prior to the grievance case closing, one that would see the Oilers move out players with salary and the Sharks sending Kane’s three-year, $7 million per season back to Edmonton.
How The Trade Would Work
This scenario might explain why Oilers Now Host Bob Stauffer keeps teasing the idea that the Oilers could have more cap space than people realize. He hasn’t explained why he believes this, only repeatedly stating, “At the end of the day you could see Edmonton with more cap space than they appear to have at this time.”
Yes, this could be a buyout. Or, it could be a completely separate trade that the Oilers already have a lead on. But, as David Staples of The Edmonton Journal points out, it could also be a deal worked out with San Jose to move pieces in a trade for Kane ahead of his hearing. The names potentially involved here are Jesse Puljujarvi, Zack Kassian, Warren Foegele, and Tyson Barrie. It could be all four (unlikely), or a combination of said players.
But trading away Puljujarvi (a Restricted Free Agent who will likely get $2.0 to $4.0 million per year on a new deal), Kassian ($3.2 million per for two more years), Foegele ($2.75 million per for two more years) and/or Barrie ($4.5 million per for two more years) would create more than $12 million in extra cap space, enough to bring in Kane and a goalie.source – ‘Stranger Thing: Will the Edmonton Oilers end up trading Jesse Puljujarvi for Evander Kane?’ – David Staples – Edmonton Journal – 06/24/2022
Why Would San Jose and Edmonton Do This?
If you’re asking why San Jose would take on the contracts of potentially three or four players the Oilers are willing to move, Staples suggests it’s because San Jose feels they might lose their grievance case with Kane. Considering the reason they terminated his contract was because Kane only broke a regulation, but didn’t commit a crime, the Sharks might not get the ruling to go their way. In fact, Kane and his agent Dan Milstein believe they have a strong case, which is why they’ve yet to drop it, even though it could affect his ability to sign a big deal in free agency.
Meanwhile, the Sharks could get a promising young winger in Puljujarvi, along with two veteran grinding forwards or a power-play quarterback. They could do much worse. The Oilers would do this trade because it leaves them with cap space to land a goaltender, and a top-six group of Connor McDavid, Evander Kane, Kailer Yamamoto, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zach Hyman. It doesn’t require the Oilers cross their fingers on one of Duncan Keith or Mike Smith retiring and it doesn’t force the Oilers to offer Kane a five or six-year deal.
Fans Will Either Love Or Hate This Idea
Staples rightfully points out that many fans will hate this idea. Some won’t like it because they think committing to Kane for three more seasons at $7 million per season is a bad idea. Others won’t like it because moving on from Puljujarvi is a mistake that could bite the Oilers when he rounds out his game and starts scoring on a regular basis.
That said, some fans will love the look of the Oilers’ top six, the opportunity to land a starting goaltender, and can trust that Holland can use the leftover money to round out his bottom-six, one that still includes Ryan McLeod, Dylan Holloway, Derek Ryan, and Devin Shore.
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.”