NHL Free Agent Signing Analysis: Evander Kane Stays In San Jose

NHL Free Agent Signing Analysis: Evander Kane Stays In San Jose

NHL free agent signing analysis of Evander Kane's seven-year contract extension with the San Jose Sharks.

The San Jose Sharks eliminated in the second round by the Vegas Golden Knights had a decision to make.  Would they re-sign Evander Kane or let him walk? It is an answer that would come quickly.

Evander Kane Re-Signs in San Jose

Kane signed a seven-year extension to the tune of $49 million dollars. That is an average annual value of $7 million. The forward tallied 14 points in 17 regular season games after his trade from the Buffalo Sabres. This included nine goals. Kane added four more goals in the playoffs.

Instant chemistry existed between Kane and Joe Pavelski. Also, the winger seemed to fit in very well in spite of some injuries. The separated shoulder and MCL injury will heal with rest. That mattered little to San Jose management and Kane as well. This resulted in rumors rising in an accelerated manner. Within days, a framework was agreed upon basically. It was only a question of when.

That time was on Thursday as the reports became official. He signed the seven-year contract with a modified three teams no-trade clause (NTC). The deal was struck that allows San Jose to sign other players in order to make a run towards a Stanley Cup.

What Numbers Touched San Jose

Again, there were plenty that struck a chord with the Sharks. Here were just a few.

  • 80 shots on goal
  • Nine goals
  • 9.4% on-ice shooting percentage (5 on 5)
  • 52.4% offensive zone start percentage (2nd lowest of career)
  • 20:15 Average Time On Ice — 3+ minutes power play time
  • 11.3% shooting percentage overall
  • 53.4% Corsi Percentage (+4.3% above team relative)

The chemistry with his new teammates was just as telling as those numbers. He showed that 35-40 goal potential in San Jose that Kane never did anywhere else. Health has always been a concern. He only missed four games last season. When a player misses at least 15-20+ contests constantly, that is troubling. The hope is that Kane reigns in his play a little. He plays a physical style. His 6 foot 1, 212-pound frame belies a speed that is underrated.

Seeing San Jose’s power play and even strength play revive itself over the final 17 games of the season was immense. He helped the Sharks not only make the playoffs but sweep the Anaheim Ducks. Granted, things went poorly against the Vegas Golden Knights. However, enough had been seen to make a decision easy.

The Signing And What It Means

According to CapFriendly, the $7 million AAV, and the NTC were again significant. This allows San Jose to have $7.5 million of cap space. If one adds the expected $5-7 million cap increase, that is a big number. There are options for buyouts and trades which further helps San Jose’s bottom line.

On a personal level for Kane, this is a chance to be on a team with top-flight talent. He had his past demons, but in San Jose those became less and less of a story.

The burden of producing (increased expectations) will be paramount. Kane is a player that has never produced a 60 point season (career-high 57 points). The forward scored 30 goals just once. That will be expected much more in San Jose. Projections and the money dictate that 30-30 seasons or higher would be a norm.

Numbers could be big for Kane as his shot selection improved some in his short time in San Jose. That will need to continue. Kane likely will have to play 19+ minutes for the Sharks. The best may be yet to come. Is this an overpayment? Stay tuned on that part!