Sharks trade for Evander Kane

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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.

This comes a day after the Sharks came up in Erik Karlsson rumors, not unlike the Nashville Predators did before trading for Ryan Hartman instead.

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:

Against:

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.

MORE: PHT’s 2018 Trade Deadline Tracker.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

 

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

Ilya Mikheyev
Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports
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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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David Kirouac/USA TODAY Sports
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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports
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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.