On the San Jose Sharks …
Paul Gackle of The Mercury News: The Sharks and Evander Kane are finalizing a seven-year, $49 million deal (deal official this morning). It’s a deal the Sharks needed to make.
Last year the Sharks lost Patrick Marleau, and could lose Joe Thornton this year. Kane basically replaces Marleau, is 12 years longer, but a little more expensive. The Sharks top-six needed more speed, he’s a 25-goal scorer and brings a physical presence.
Kane could have tested the free agent waters and possibly got more. He loves Vegas and the Stanley Cup finalists might have been interested. His hometown Vancouver Canucks could have stepped up to help transition from the Sedin’s.
The Sharks may not be out of the John Tavares sweepstakes as signing Kane early gives them some time to potentially make some extra room.
They’ll have between $10 and $15 million in salary cap space depending on how much it goes up. They could create some more space by buying out Paul Martin and his $4.5 million salary.
On the Tampa Bay Lightning …
Greg Wyshynski of ESPN: Looking at the keys to the Lightning’s offseason
1. Act like their window to one is open for just one more year – After next season they’ll have RFAs in Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point, to go along with UFAs Yanni Gourde, Ryan McDonagh, Anton Stralman, Braydon Coburn and Dan Girardi. The following season they’ll have RFAs in Mikhail Sergachev and Andrei Vasilevskiy.
3. Administer psychology exams – lost their first two home games in the Eastern finals and had two games to close out the Capitals.