The San Jose Sharks landed one of the biggest fish during the trade deadline, acquiring Evander Kane from the Buffalo Sabres for a package that includes a conditional first-round pick.
The most intriguing question revolves around the future. Kane, 26, is a pending UFA. Will the Sharks eventually give him a contract extension, or will this be a rental? There’s some back-and-forth in that regard.
For keeping Kane:
The trade: Some specifics are still being hashed out, but the basic parameters are reported as:
Sharks receive: Evander Kane.
Sabres receive: A conditional 2019 first-round pick, a conditional 2020 second-rounder, and prospect Danny O'Regan, via The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun. This post will be updated if there are further details.
LeBrun fills in details on the conditions, too:
Why the Sharks made the trade: With an aging core, you never know when the Sharks’ window is closing. They currently hold the second seed in the Pacific Division, but there isn’t a large margin of error. Even if they’re only ending up with a rental for Kane, he could help them secure a playoff spot and try to make another postseason push. That’s especially valuable with Joe Thornton hurt.
San Jose might be one of the better spots for Kane from a “chemistry” standpoint. You’d think that being in a contract year should reduce risks anyway, but a veteran group could help in that regard.
The Sharks can eventually give Kane an extension, but if they’d like, they can make sure he’s a good fit. Kane gets a chance to show what he can do in a contract year on a quality team.
Why the Sabres did it: With Kane’s contract expiring and the Sabres still trying to build a competent team, this had to happen. The sting of seeing Kane re-sign with San Jose would be limited if that means it will be a first-round pick for Buffalo.
The years lose a bit of punch from an instant gratification standpoint, yet it might not be such a bad thing for Buffalo. What if the Sharks re-sign Kane but sputter in 2018-19 anyway? In that case, a first-rounder from San Jose could be more valuable in 2019 than 2018.
O’Regan is a nice gesture to Jack Eichel, much like bringing in Evan Rodriguez once was.
Overall, a decent but not explosive package back to Buffalo. Some fans might not love the return compared to the packages for an older Rick Nash or a less explosive Ryan Hartman.
Who won the trade?
It’s another different goals situation, as the Sharks aim for the present while the Sabres look to the future.