Latest Sharks and Oilers Speculation – March 20, 2018
Will the San Jose Sharks re-sign Evander Kane? Should the Edmonton Oilers entertain offers for Ryan Nugent Hopkins? The latest in your NHL rumor mill.
COULD SHARKS RE-SIGN EVANDER KANE?
MERCURY NEWS: Paul Gackle recently speculated on the possibility of the San Jose Sharks re-signing Evander Kane. Since joining the Sharks in a trade-deadline deal with the Buffalo Sabres, the 26-year-old left wing has been a terrific addition to their offensive attack. In nine games with San Jose he has 10 points, including a recent four-goal effort against Calgary.
Cap Friendly indicates the Sharks have $59.5-million invested in 19 players, the Sharks have sufficient cap space to re-sign Kane if they choose. He’d be a solid consolation prize if the club loses out in a potential bidding war for center John Tavares if the New York Islanders captain decides to test the free-agent market on July 1.
General manager Doug Wilson also has to consider if he’ll re-sign long-time center Joe Thornton. Winger Tomas Hertl is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights coming off a two-year, $6-million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much will depend upon Kane’s performance over the remainder of the season and into the playoffs. So far, he’s fit in quite well with his new teammates. Another will be his asking price. He’s completing a six-year, $31.5-million contract with an annual cap hit of $5.25 million but with an actual salary this season of $6 million. His camp could seek a seven- or eight-year deal worth over $7 million annually. Of course, if Kane is happy in San Jose and really wants to stay, Wilson might be able to work this to his advantage.
SHOULD THE OILERS LISTEN TO OFFERS FOR NUGENT-HOPKINS?
THE ATHLETIC: Jonathan Willis acknowledges Edmonton Oilers fans are understandably leery over the idea of the club shopping center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as the club can’t afford to lose any more talent than it already has. Still, Willis feels it makes sense for the Oilers to at least listen to trade offers this summer. His trade value is likely high this year and there’s a market for good centers, which could work to the Oilers’ advantage. If they consider such a move, however, Willis notes that the player coming in “would need to be relatively young, under team control for years, and be a significant upgrade over RNH in some other area.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Willis isn’t advocating moving Nugent-Hopkins, listing in detail the value he brings to the Oilers. He concludes if they can’t bring in a premium return they should be comfortable with the alternative of keeping him on the roster.
Still, it doesn’t hurt to at least listen to offers. Even if the return isn’t perfect, perhaps shedding his $6-million annual cap hit could free up sufficient dollars to perhaps acquire more quality depth via trade or free agency.