Sharks News & Rumors: Kane, Reimer, Labanc & More

In this edition of San Jose Sharks News & Rumors, we discuss trade options for Evander Kane. In other news, James Reimer has been unable to start due to a non-COVID-19 related illness. Meanwhile, his teammate, Kevin Labanc, who has had his fair share of struggles recently, was a healthy scratch on Tuesday. Last but not least, Andrew Cogliano has rejoined the team after missing three games to be with his wife and daughter, Olive, who was taken to hospital.

Options for Trading Kane

With all the negative and distracting headlines surrounding Evander Kane this season, it seems impossible that he will ever suit up for the Sharks again. However, he is an extremely talented player, one that some teams will be willing to take a chance on. Earlier this week, Sheng Peng of NBC Sports discussed three options for general manager Doug Wilson to move the controversial 30-year-old winger.

Related: Sharks’ 2021-22 Quarter-Season Team Awards

The first and best-case scenario is for the Sharks to trade Kane’s full contract, which still has three seasons remaining after this one with a cap hit of $7 million. This isn’t likely but could be done if the Sharks agree to take on a bad contract in return. The second is that the Sharks retain 50 percent of his contract, which is the maximum allowed. This doesn’t seem to be as far of a stretch, and there should be plenty of teams lining up to give Kane a chance at $3.5 million.

Colorado Avalanche's Cale Maker Philipp Grubauer San Jose Sharks' Evander Kane
Colorado Avalanche’s Cale Maker watches as San Jose Sharks Evander Kane scores on Colorado Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer (AP Photo/Josie Lepe)

The last option Peng suggested was a three-way trade. Elliotte Friedman also mentioned that could be a possibility. If that’s the case, the Sharks would still retain 50 percent, while the two other teams would each take on 25 percent of his deal. In order to make this happen, of course, Wilson would have to provide an incentive for the team not getting Kane to agree to this, perhaps in the form of a prospect or draft pick.

Reimer Nearing Return

After a great start to the 2021-22 season, Reimer has been forced to sit out for nearly a week. Thankfully, he has still suited up as the team’s backup but is still not ready to return to game action. Head coach Bob Boughner said that the 33-year-old is dealing with a non-COVID 19 related illness and has been feeling run down lately.

Before this, Reimer was enjoying arguably the best start of his NHL career. Through 14 games, he has a 2.11 goals-against average, a .934 save percentage, and an 8-4-1 record. He is a huge reason why the Sharks find themselves in the playoff race at the quarter mark of the season.

Labanc Healthy Scratched on Tuesday

On Tuesday night versus the Calgary Flames, Boughner made Labanc a healthy scratch. The 25-year-old hasn’t been at his best over the past two seasons and has not recorded a point in six straight games – the main reason he was forced to watch his team from the press box (from ‘Curtis Pashelka: One Sharks winger placed on IR, another gets stern message from Bob Boughner,’ East Bay Times, 12/07/21). 

“He just needs to be better,” said Boughner. “We need more from him. We’ve tried him on different lines, and we want to play with a certain identity, and everybody’s got to be on that same page.”

Kevin Labanc (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Hopefully, this is what it takes to get Labanc going, as he has really struggled this season. Through 19 games, he has just three goals and six points. He is playing like a shell of the player he was in 2018-19 when he scored 17 goals and 56 points.

Cogliano Returns After Brief Absence

During the Sharks’ recent five-game road trip, Cogliano was forced to return early for personal reasons. While the reason was was unknown at the time, we have since learned that he left the team to be with his youngest daughter, Olive, who was admitted to hospital care. Thankfully, she has since returned home, and it sounds like she is feeling much better (from ‘Curtis Pashelka: Sharks’ Cogliano returns after a couple tough days with hospitalized daughter,’ The Mercury News, 12/05/21).

“So, it was a couple tough days, especially for my wife,” Cogliano said. “(Olive’s) not a year old yet. My job is hockey, and no one loves the game more than me. But my first priority is being a dad, and my girls at home.”

Thankfully, Olive is doing better, and Cogliano has since returned to the lineup. The 34-year-old, who signed a one-year deal with the Sharks this offseason, has two goals and six points in 22 games with his new club.

Up Next for the Sharks

The Sharks will look to carry the momentum from a big 5-3 win over the Flames into Thursday’s contest against the Minnesota Wild. It won’t be an easy game, as the Wild lead the Western Conference with 37 points through 25 games. After Thursday’s game, they wrap up their week with a game on Saturday night against the Dallas Stars, a team that is coming off a seven-game win streak.

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