NHL Rumor Mill – October 19, 2021

by | Oct 19, 2021 | Rumors | 27 comments

Can the Sharks find a way to move on from Evander Kane? Could the Senators pursue Blackhawks center Dylan Strome? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz wonders if the San Jose Sharks can find a way to get out of the remaining three years on Evander Kane’s contract. The 30-year-old winger’s off-ice problems prompted three NHL investigations in allegations of betting on games, domestic violence and using a fake COVID-19 vaccination card. The first two couldn’t be substantiated but the league suspended Kane 21 games for the fake card.

San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane (NHL Images).

As a group, the Sharks players have moved on from Kane, who wasn’t allowed to join them during training camp or their season-opener on Friday while the investigations were ongoing. Reports also emerged during the offseason suggesting Kane’s relationship with his teammates may be irreparably damaged due to his behavior and flouting of team rules last season.

Kurz is hoping Sharks general manager Doug Wilson can provide some clarity into Kane’s future in the coming days. He considers signing the winger to be the worst move in Wilson’s tenure, suggesting that sort of thing tends to lead to a management housecleaning.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Brian Witt wonders whether the Sharks might get into the bidding for Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel if they can somehow shed the remainder of Kane’s contract. He pointed to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun suggesting the same thing last Friday before the winger’s suspension was announced.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kurz feels Kane’s use of a fake vaccination card to be a “blatant disregard for the health of his teammates and, in turn, his teammates’ families”. However, that behavior might not be sufficient grounds under the collective bargaining agreement for the Sharks to terminate his contract. We’ll have to wait and see what transpires.

Given Kane’s problems, I don’t see any team trading for him. Even without those issues, his contract would still be difficult to move under the flattened salary cap with so few teams carrying sufficient cap space to take on his $7 million annual average value.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Charlie Roumeliotis reports the Blackhawks don’t seem to be giving Dylan Strome the same opportunity everyone else is getting. The 24-year-old center remains a healthy scratch after the Hawks opened the season with three straight losses. He wonders if Strome will get the opportunity with the Blackhawks or another club.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators general manager Pierre Dorion is still looking around for help with center Colin White sidelined for potentially the season by shoulder surgery and forwards Auston Watson and Clarke Bishop out with ankle injuries.

Garrioch observed the Blackhawks have been trying to trade Dylan Strome. “Ottawa studied this option in the summer, so it feels like that ship has sailed.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries and inconsistent play over the last two seasons contributed to a decline in Strome’s production. However, he’s proven he can be productive when healthy and skating alongside talented linemates. Based on Garrioch’s assessment, the Senators aren’t likely to give him that chance.


  1. Can’t see the Sharks being able to nix (terminate) Kane’s contract…. Trading him nigh impossible , but could possibly be done with serious retention…. Who wants (and can take him) at 50%??

    Sens should at least make another call re Strome…. If reasonable ask… go for it…. Change of scenery and the trade gamble just may pay off

    The ask can’t be that high for a healthy scratch player

    • Pengy, looking at Strome’s situation I’m ambivalent when it comes to this guy. Over 204gp this 24 y/o has averaged out to 18g 31a 49 pts on an 82-game basis. Not bad … but not great either. He does have good size for a C but is coming off a cap hit of $3 mil per at the end of this season when he becomes an RFA with arbitration rights. Add to that the fact that, despite 3 straight losses to start the season, the Chicago coaching staff has made him a healthy scratch for each. Clearly, something is lacking in his game in their eyes.

      Right now it would appear that Norris and Pinto are Ottawa’s 1 – 2 punch at C, with 27 y/o Chris Tierney slotted in at # 3. His 82-game average over his career works out to 12g 23a 35 pts and, in his case, he’s coming off a $3.5 mil cap hit and is a UFA at season’s end.

      Normally, Colin White would be the # 3 C and, although not expected back from shoulder surgery until late in the season – if then – you have to think he’ll still be in the picture next season.

      So, where would Strome slot in?

      Dorion doesn’t need another RFA to add to negotiations next summer with Norris, Formenton, Mete and Bishop (who was ticketed as the 4th line C before his current injury. He should be back before mid-season.

      No, I think if Dorion is still looking around for F help it’s on the right side.

    • I believe I speak for Steve Yzerman when I say that the Wings will take him off the Sharks hands for a couple firsts and/or prospects, then buy him out.

    • I’m sure Larry Brooks believes the Rangers should at least kick the tires on Kane. And why not, they seem to be in on any player that may remotely be on the move now, in the offseason, next year…

  2. Picture Kane with his arms spread waiting to be embraced after scoring his first goal since his reinstatement, while his teammates skate toward the bench.

    • Francis, so correct. In no way can this work out well for Kane. A buyout and the KHL might be best for all involved. And yes this is on Wilson. Don’t really follow SJ, but shocked he is still in charge there.

  3. I don’t get it ? I would give my eye teeth , or any rec player for that matter would give almost everything they have to play in the nhl I’d play for 40 grand a year and be happy. Kane has had the world handed to him in a gift basket and he’s letting it all slip away idiot!!

    • Some people insist on doing stupid things.

    • addiction!!!!!!

  4. After a summer/fall of reading how SJ can’t afford Hertl’s next contract when he’s UFA, now come’s the notion that they are in the “bidding” for Eichel.
    Forget that he is unable to play, forget that he has to get some kind of surgery, neither of which are guarantees, forget that he has a bigger contract because- he’s 24 and fits into their youth movement.

    bidding? give it a break

    • Well put. My sentiments exactly habfan30. Never mind what column-filling pundit speculates, forget about Eichel until he has his surgery – whichever one that becomes – and then SHOWS he’s recovered and is back to his former on-ice presence.

  5. The Sharks knew who they were getting when they traded for Kane, and then they decided to extend him not on the cheap. Kane has a M-NTC with a list of only 3 teams he can be traded to, that is something nobody has mentioned.
    The Sharks made their bed with Kane. Now they have to lie in it, and I don’t feel sorry for them. You play with fire, you are going to get BURNED.

    • And right now Wilson is as crispy as one can get. How he holds onto his job is one of the great NHL mysteries. Over his span at the helm in SJ there have been firings of GMs whose overall records were far better than his – at least over the past 4 seasons.

    • Agree, they knew what they were getting. How could they not?
      The Sharks will try and terminate, I have zero idea what the chances of success are, but am guessing since they haven’t yet, far from a sure thing.
      So leaves 2 options, buyout and save a few bucks, or pay him to stay home and get it over with sooner.
      Not like they are contending for anything for 5 years, minimum.

  6. I’ve watched Panarin very closely in every game so far this year. He’s either hurt, or disinterested. Something seems wrong with him. But he needs to get it together soon.

    Zibanejad needs to shoot more. I swear every opportunity he’s thinking pass first.

    If not for Sheterkin standing on his head, NY loses this game badly.

    I read yesterday NY have tried to mend the relationship with Kravstov. This guy needs to be playing in NY. Time to waive Hajek and make this problem go away. Sooner rather than later.

  7. The Sharks are absolutely not in the running for Eichel, if only because DW’s moves on Kane, Karlsson and Vlassic have screwed the pooch on team chemistry and the cap. No more off the wall chances. I am hoping against hope that Wilson can find a way to terminate Kane. Ya, and good luck on the KHL. Black players have a hard enough time having to deal with racism in this country. Eastern Europe appears to be much worse from some of the incidents I’ve read about.

    • That exact thought crossed my mind a well Rock.

  8. So if the Sharks can’t terminate his contract on legal/CBA grounds, what happens in 2 months (21 games) when Kane’s suspension is up?
    Do they just eat the money and pay him to stay home? Do they agree on some mutual buyout? (Can they even do that midseason?)
    I don’t see many teams trading for him, even if significant money is retained. It would have to be a team with significant leadership in the locker room that could confront and control Kane or tell him to hit the road. Pittsburgh maybe? (I’m thinking of a situation similar to NFL Tampa Bay and Tom Brady taking Antonio Brown in and making him “walk the line”.)
    Will be really interesting to see how this plays out.

  9. “He considers signing the winger to be the worst move in Wilson’s tenure”
    — Umm… the Karlsson trade?

    “I don’t see any team trading for him… with so few teams carrying sufficient cap space to take on his $7 million”
    — I could see a scenario (next summer) where OTT flips Murray to SJ for Kane + $$

    Murray is quickly becoming an obstacle to Gus`s next-level development. I’ll reserve final judgement until summer, but he doesn’t seem to fit.

    • Banger, Ottawa appears to be building a strong core of young players who seem to be coming together as a tight knit group. Adding someone like Kane would be disruptive to say the least. Jury may still out on Murray but at least he doesn’t poison a locker room.

      • No, he doesn’t do that in any way, shape or form. His problem is, he seems to constantly have one foot on a banana peel and the other in a grave.

  10. Buffalo could use Strome from Chicago and can easily toss Okposo (50%) retained to balance cap and a 3rd.

    Strome young enough still to grow with Buff and be given a chance to have minutes.

    • The 3 – 0 Sabres!

  11. I think Kane’s situation with The Sharks mirrors DeAngelo and the Rangers.
    I don’t see how he can be allowed on the ice or in the locker room.
    Thornton and Pavelski controlled Kane and the Sharks were a cohesive group. But in the change of the dynamic in this rebuild Kane is toxic. As hard as it is to swallow, the Sharks have to eat the contract.

  12. All I can say is I’m so glad after the years of trade rumors to Boston that they never traded for Kane .Yes he has a great scoring touch but his off ice issues no team wants to bring into the locker room.They should just buy him out and move on he will gamble it all away and then an ESPN 30 for 30 special on him .It’s to bad he’s eating the potential he has .

  13. Shame on Boughner and Wilson for allowing Kane to get away with murder. Sharks are yet another team mirred in no mans land …

    • Here, here! This lies with the supposed leaders of the club. Boughner and Wilson should have to answer for this fiasco along with Kane.