By: Ryan A. Skinner
San Jose is all in on Evander Kane. The news was announced on May 25th (Officially) that he had signed a massive 7 year, $7 Million deal ($49 total) taking him through the 2024-25 season. The response from fans has been mixed, AND IT SHOULD BE.
I could go into the multiple problems that he created off the ice at his old clubs and how I personally think he’s a punk but that’s not why this deal is a bad one. The reason that this deal is no good for the club comes down to these main Points:
-$7 F*&%ING Million.
– Checkered past of injuries
– 1st Round pick traded away (They needed that)
– Other player contracts
Point One: $7 F*&%ing Million
if $7 Million a year sounds like a lot to you, it’s because it is. To put this in perspective, he would be the second highest paid player ON THE TEAM (First is Brent Burns with a cool $8 Million/year) in his first full year of play with the club. That is a raise of $1.75 Million, for what? Is he really a player you can expect something THAT big from? IS he a player that HAS ever produced a season worth that price tag? Not really. While he has been relatively consistent in scoring the last few seasons, hes only had a 30 goal season once in his 9 years. His postseason (outside of the Ducks series which I don’t really count because the Ducks were TERRIBLE) wasn’t stellar and his history of injury means that the team is probably going to end up paying for a lot of recovery time. If they don’t get what they need to get from him right out of the gate in year one, the contract will already look like a BIG mistake. The only good news could be that if his play doesn’t match the pay, the Sharks may have an opportunity to make him Expansion Draft bait and alleviate some stress on their cap in 2020 when the new Seattle Franchise Should come into the fold.
Point Two: Injuries
Almost every year without fail, Kane misses a lot of games. How many games? If you look at his average games played per year stat, you see he stands currently at about 64 games per Regular season through 9 NHL Seasons, that’s 18 games missed per Season, or about $677,412 worth of time under his new contract sat out for injures and other, non Hockey related benchings. He has had concussions, he has had shoulder problems, he has had MCL problems, ACL problems, you name it. He is not what I, or many people for that matter would consider a consistently healthy player. If he can’t stay healthy this coming year, once again, the contract will look bad before the honeymoon is even over.
Point Three: 1st Round Pick… Gone
It’s no secret that San Jose does not have the best record with 1st round draft picks. It’s also no secret that their prospect pool is less than great and their team’s age (although now younger without Marleau) is a full year above the league average at 28.6. They needed that pick and now, because of this trade, they won’t have anything close to a full set of draft picks until the 2020 draft. Obviously we don’t know what other trades for draft picks could be made in the near future of the coming season but the fact remains, no first rounder next year, that’s a lot of compensation for a player who averages 64 games a season…
Point Four: Contract Conflict
Kane isn’t the only big contract on the Sharks, oh no. In addition to Kane’s big deal, the Sharks are carrying the weight of Marc-Edouard Vlasic at $7 Million and Brent Burns at $8 Million. That wouldn’t necessarily be a huge deal except for the fact that Burns’ contract expires the same year as Kane’s. Yes that’s right, The Shark’s star D man and their presumptive new star forward will both need new deals in the 2024-25 season. is that a ways off? yes. Could they possibly find a way to make that paycheck not hurt as much by then? yes. will they though? This is the Sharks we are talking about, ladies and gentlemen. If it’s not bad enough that those two contracts fall under the same year, Vlasic’s comes due the following year, so that’s $22 Million worth (that’s %32.59 of their total cap hit) of contract negotiations for 3 players in 2 years… ouch, man.
Naturally I will eat my words with a healthy amount of crow should the stars align and this deal turns out to work in San Jose’s favor… but as of now, it looks to me that San Jose is gambling Big time on a player who has trouble paying dividends wherever he goes. Honestly though, as a VGK fan, I can’t say I’ll be all that broken up about this if I’m right.