NHL Rumor Mill – January 11, 2022

by | Jan 11, 2022 | Rumors | 30 comments

A number of teams appear interested in Evander Kane plus the latest on the Flames and Canucks in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: With Evander Kane now an unrestricted free agent following his contract termination with the San Jose Sharks, Pierre LeBrun believes the 30-year-old winger will want to sign a one-year deal for the remainder of the season. It would be for a bargain price as he attempts to prove his worth.

Former San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane (NHL Images).

LeBrun also indicated Kane’s agent, Dan Milstein, indicated a number of teams have expressed interest in his client. One of those clubs is the Edmonton Oilers but he doesn’t know if that’ll translate into a contract offer. He said it remains to be seen how many of those clubs come back with legitimate offers. LeBrun believes the Kane camp will take their time to evaluate what makes sense.

Meanwhile, LeBrun’s colleague Gord Miller tweeted he’s heard Kane could have a contract with a new team by the end of this week.

CALGARY HERALD: 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. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights are among the other teams reportedly interested in Kane’s services.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I noted Kane’s contract termination and the NHLPA filing a grievance on his behalf in today’s morning coffee headlines.

Despite Kane’s personal baggage and his reputation as a dressing room cancer, he is a proven performer as a power forward. Hence the interest by so many clubs provided they can get him cheap. There were rumors prior to his contract termination of several teams interested in him if the Sharks could find a way to swing a three-team deal to spread around his $7 million annual cap hit.

Some of these clubs, like the Hurricanes and Lightning, have well-respected head coaches who get the best out of their players. Some, like the Golden Knights and Panthers, have a solid leadership core within their rosters who can rein in a teammate’s selfish tendencies.

As Traikos pointed out, some of these clubs (Toronto, Carolina) have taken chances before on players with reputations for underachievement (Alex Galchenyuk, Joshua Ho-Sang) or courting controversy (Tony DeAngelo). For the right price, they could take a calculated gamble on Kane.

The Oilers’ interest, however, has a whiff of desperation given their free-fall in the standings. Goaltending is their primary concern but they could use another scoring winger. Nevertheless, they seem like they’re flailing about for anything at this point that can save their season.

Others, like the Golden Knights, Leafs, Lightning and Panthers, have limited cap space. They could end up having to make a cost-cutting deal to create sufficient cap space to sign Kane.


CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve Macfarlane paused on the idea of the Flames adding Evander Kane and examined the pros and cons of several possible trade options to bolster their offense and improve their blue-line depth.

San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl topped his list, followed by Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux and Seattle Kraken defenseman (and former Flames captain) Mark Giordano.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hertl won’t be available if the Sharks are in playoff contention by the trade deadline. The Flames will have to win a bidding war for his services if he hits the trade block as he’ll generate considerable interest. His three-team no-trade list will significantly narrow the field of potential trade destinations.

Giroux has a full no-movement clause and there’s no indication thus far he’ll be available. That could change by the deadline but there’s no certainty he’ll waive his clause to come to Calgary as a rental forward.

Giordano, meanwhile, could welcome an opportunity to return to the Flames, who reluctantly made him available in last summer’s expansion draft. His agent didn’t dismiss that possibility in a recent interview with Sportsnet’s Eric Francis.

The others on Macfarlane’s list are Pittsburgh Penguins winger Bryan Rust, Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk, Arizona Coyotes winger Phil Kessel, Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot and Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see Rust or Fiala going anywhere. Rust is a UFA this summer but I believe the Penguins will hang onto him for the playoffs. Fiala was briefly linked to Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller in November but there hasn’t been any other speculation suggesting the Wild are shopping him. Doesn’t mean they won’t but it seems unlikely right now.

DeBrusk made a trade request over a month ago but there doesn’t seem to be much interest in his services. Chiarot is expected to be available but the asking price could be a first-round pick. Kessel still has an eight-team trade list and could be reluctant about returning to a Canadian team.

THE SCORE: Brandon Maron cites the Toronto Star’s Chris Johnston reporting the Vancouver Canucks are open to the idea of trading backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak. He 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. His current cap hit is $1.5 million.

THE ATHLETIC’S Rick Dhaliwal yesterday tweeted the Vancouver Canucks have shown no interest in trying to sign Evander Kane.


  1. “Nevertheless, they seem like they’re flailing about for anything at this point that can save their season.”

    Ken Holland: I’ve tried nothing, and I’m out of ideas!

  2. Signing Kane for remainder of year for any team is a no brainer the team can’t lose. If Kane ever gets his sh—- together he could be a huge asset but I’m not holding my breath.

    • Well Obe, if he isn’t motivated to get his sh** together over the next 4 months, he never will.

      So ya, the risk is low.

      No idea what is driving his most recent behavior, so likely he does, but not a guarantee.

      If the Sharks are successful in getting out from that contract, he’s going to need some $$, maybe that will do it.

    • Hi Obe

      I’ve posted the same many times over

      Even @ $2 M (annual rate)…. Worst case they have to bury him….so only $0.92 showing against cap; actual cash lay out (if signed this week) after escrow ; using $2M annual rate (which will be pro-rated)….. max ~ $950 K (depending on games remaining this year for that team)

      Worst case…. $0.92 M on Cap; and spent $950 K w/o return (remember many of these franchises are worth north of $800 M…. $950 K is a rounding error)

      Best case… top 6 serious production, now and in playoffs…. AND comes without giving up assets

      I’ve also posted many times that I fully expect him to be on pristine behaviour with any new team….for this season and playoffs… he has to… any slip… that just very likely ends his NHL future

      Getting on a contender, performing as he can, going deep in playoffs, maybe winning….. all while behaving…. Very nice offers come this summer

      His agent better be repeatedly telling him the same

      Re if he wins Arb (and there seems to be almost as many reports posing that he just may have had the approval to travel; as not)…. 2 contracts a possibility…. 1 for maybe 1 year @ $2M…. Netting as I said above (after pro-ration and escrow) a Gross of ~ $950 K (and still has to pay tax on that) or his 3 plus years remaining at $7M guaranteed

      This will be a very interesting Arbitration

      Howard…. If he signs with another team and begins to play for that team; AND wins his Arb hearing; does his playing for a new team then over-ride/nullify Sharks responsibility to pay him the balance of the contract?

      Hoping for

      Sid Guentz Rusty
      Gino Carter Kane
      E-Rod Heinen Kappy
      Blueger McGinn ZAR

  3. Just my opinion, but any team that signs Kane is pathetic. He has consistently demonstrated a lack of commitment, teamwork and morals. Is that what you want to bring into your team culture. I get it, everyone deserves a second chance, but he is on chance number 5 and no signs of changing or remorse. Sad day for the team that signs him.

    Albert Einstein : “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

    • I wouldn’t sign him either redmonsters, but I would bet a pay cheque somebody will. I put a lot of weight on character and integrity.
      I said before he violated his contract, would do it for no more than I could bury for this year and that’s it. Well now teams can, and one very likely will.

      May even get more than the league minimum, who knows. He is asking for more according to his agent.

      He is exactly the type of forward the Oilers lack and need on the ice. And exactly what they don’t need off of it. Locally they are reporting that Holland spoke the player leadership group to find out what they think, and likely what they know or can find out from other players who played with him. So if that is true, they were/are at least interested.

      Holland is having a presser today and will no doubt get asked the question.

      • Ray–So many fans thought that of Hyman–that he was exactly the kind of forward the Oilers needed on the ice. Maybe, just as many thought he couldn’t be anything but a good example off the ice. Yet Hyman is a minus player for the first time in his career, though the supposed best player in hockey is his center

        Does that suggest that there’s something wrong with the Oilers’ other than scoring, goaltending, and leadership?

      • There has been talk of that amongst the fans Francis, if you are referring to some dressing room issues. Usually the talk focusses on the big 2 getting special treatment and others being resentful. Nothing from any of the trusted media guys close to the team.

        Not sure there is any truth to it, but they do get big minutes and quite a few guys don’t get much. IMO it is always better to spread the minutes if you can, but the Oil lack depth so could argue either way. The big guys make mistakes when they get tired, just like every player does especially as a C.

        Spreading the minutes around sure worked well for Sutter a couple hours south on the QE2.

  4. Would like to see Kane on Pens

    Re Rusty as a trade target…. I don’t see it… Pens should definitely keep him as an own rental

    If Halak is truly available…. hard to see right now as they are playing well and in the hunt for a playoff spot…. Then Pens could certainly benefit from flipping DeSmith’s triple 8’s for Halak’s 915 save percentage

    ‘Nucks fans , what’s the flip going to cost Pens?

    Also what is the cost to flip DeSmith and Ruhweedel for Halak and Schenn?

    • Hi Pengy, Canucks probably only want draft picks for Halak, and they want to deal him before he plays 2 more games (which would trigger his $1.5m signing bonus). They are not in good shape, capwise, for the next few years and don’t want that 1.5 to bother them next year. Spencer Martin has looked really good in the minors and should be able to serve as backup to red hot Demko for the rest of this year.

      • Thanks IWMCB

        What’s the pick request for DeSmith/Halak flip?

        And what is the pick request for DeSmith/Ruhweedel for Halak/Schenn

        Burkie said he’s very reluctant to give up picks…. Unless it benefits now and in future…. Halak is UFA, so that might not work. Schenn has another year

      • Tough call Pengy; imho Canucks *do* want to dump Halak but *do not* want to pick up any goaltender in return, so that might not work. Also, they are very happy with Schenn, and are thin at right D, so I don’t see that conversation going very far.

      • Cheers and thanks IWMCB

    • Pengy…I love Rust and he was hot there but went to Co-vid protocol. He still needs to be moved because we simply can’t afford him next year. We can’t afford to lose him for nothing and he is a valuable trade chip and will help us get what we want..

      Especially if we resign Malkin and Letang money will be tight unless they take team friendly discounts.

      For me this works- $ wise

      Malkin 3 years @ $ 7 million
      Letang 3 years @ $ 6 million

      Otherwise you let them walk and you have $17 million off the books to go after a Tomas Hertl, a Johnny Gaudreau, or a Filip Forsberg or a defenseman.
      $17 million you can sign three really good players.

      • Hi BNG

        It id tough to lose any player for nothing; but trading him at TDL gets only futures… pick or prospect; snd then Pens are down his production

        It would be better to keep him as an “own” rental

        The decision to keep him this year won’t affect Gino and Tanger signing next year

        I think your close on proposed Caps for Tanger and Gino

        Both 3 years ; get them combined for $12M- $13M cap hits👍👍

        E-Rod gets a raise for sure

        Knowing Rusty just can’t be signed next year (not desire; just not cap space); and hopefully Zucker is gone

        That leaves nice space for next year for a stab at Hertl; upgrade at 3RD AND Back-up

        Pens have a shot at going deep this year ;if healthy…fingers crossed)…. If they can jettison Zucker and convert that Cap savings into a better back up; better 3RD; and add a depth UFA forward

        Moving Zucker is the problem

        If (somehow) …. Zucker, DeSmith; and Ruhweedel were replaced with….

        E Kane; Holtby or Halak or ??; and Miller or Schenn or ???

        That roster could go far this year

        First and foremost… back up replacement; at this rate; they really can’t afford to play DeSmith more than 6 or 7 more games this season (losing them all is possible) and that’s putting Jarry nearing 70 games; burning him out for playoffs; and that’s if he doesn’t get injured

        HexBurkie should move now on thr back up situation as there might be others outbidding Pens come TDL

        I wish they would have signed Duby on a 1yr $1M contract…. That CD at least would have given some buffer

        Halak is s good option; but as was pointed out earlier; he’s 2 games shy of getting his $1.5 M Perf Bonus, which would go against Pens 22-23 Cap… eating in to the Cap savings from lower contracts for Gino snd Tanger

  5. Kane is not a fit in Carolina. It doesn’t make any sense that they would be interested in him.

  6. I don’t like the idea of the Oilers signing Kane, but Jason Gregor made a couple of good points yesterday on TSN 1260.
    One, seeing his gambling debt and filing for bankruptcy he is motivated to change his attitude in order to make the money to get out of his financial issue.
    two, the low price it would take to sign him for the rest of this season if it doesn’t work out you can just send him to the minors till the end of the season.

  7. Knowing that Kane ; signing this week; a $2M annual Sal ($2M Cap) ; after escrow (and before taxes ) nets ~ $950K

    However if it doesn’t work out…. Only $1.08 M can be buried…. Above board cap hit then of $0.92 M

    A better way … give him $600 K SB (no escrow and up front) and League min….. the payout for the balance of the year is also ~ $950 K total

    The benefit of the second structure is that the cap hit then is only $1.35…. and in worst case scenario $1.08 M can be buried… worst case $0.27 M against cap. Kane gets same amount of money ; and gets $600 K of that up front

  8. Kane is not vaccinated, does this take the Canadian teams out of the equation if he don’t get vaccinated ?

    • According to anything I see online. Kane has been fully vaccinated.

      They are terminating his contract due to not following Covid protocol by returning to Vancouver (home). I’m guessing if he’s popping in and out of Canada, he must be fully vaccinated.

      Canadian folks, don’t you have to be vaccinated to enter Canada?

    • Captain, wasn’t just the Covid protocol, he was also supposed to report back to the AHL team on Dec 31, didn’t bother showing up until Jan 6, hence why the sharks say he breached both, including the standard player agreement.

      I think you need to be vaccinated if you are not Canadian and want to enter? Not sure, I’m Canadian. Any US folks travel up here lately?
      I am sure they would have to let him in as he is a citizen. But you have to submit proof to get your boarding pass online, at least with the airline I flew with and that was within the country, so if he flew he would be.

      No idea if he is vaccinated now.

      • Ray, you need to have at least 2 doses of the vaccine, 1 if JJ to enter Canada.

  9. As far as Kane goes, I thought I read something last spring that he was wanting to get his contract voided because of his bankruptcy. Something to the extent that his creditors wanted payment based on the remaining years of his contract and to force him into Chapter 11 refinance VS Chapter 7 liquidation. Curious if this whole Vax card Vax violation was his plan to get out of Big money to get out of his debts in court.

  10. Kane will have several choices to choose from. It will be interesting to see where he goes and how he fits. I believe he will be fine for 1/2 year. But wouldn’t want to resign him regardless of how he worked out Wouldn’t mind him with the B for east of year. But won’t happen

  11. So how long will grievance procedure take and what’s the chances that maybe Kane wins his case? Covid didn’t exist when he signed deal so, what is the teams case for terminating his contract? Judging by comments about his character, I’d guess he’d rather cash in on that 20+ million he’s owed

    • Grandfathering contract rights just does not happen in the NHL. Look how they made the previous deals that were over 8 yrs suffer consequences to those teams when they instituted the 8 and 7 year maximum contract lengths! Recapture penalties!! I mean, how could the NHLPA ratify that change to the CBA?

  12. If Kane’s contract does get voided, and Hertl had issues with him being on team, isn’t safe to assume that Sharks will use cap space to extend Hertl?

    • that was my first thought Slick , extend Hertl

    • Their best bet would be to shop. Hertl at deadline. As they are not going to the dance. Grab what you can a 1st plus plus. And resign next year with kanes savings Win win

  13. E.Kane will double his signing bonus playing the VLT’s
    The NHL is not the NFL , we will see