It seems that Ken Holland is ready to open up the checkbook in order to keep Evander Kane in Edmonton.
Darren Dreger was on TSN 1050’s OverDrive show on Wednesday and he said that he could see Holland more willing to give Kane some extra term on a contract than other teams. Dreger went on to add that Holland might retire when his contract comes to an end in 2024, so he might not be concerned about the term of a given deal going beyond that.
The Oilers inked Kane to a one-year show-me deal after his contract with the San Jose Sharks was terminated. Kane was in the fourth year of a seven-year, $49 million contract and forfeited the remaining $22.8 million on the deal. The NHL Players’ Association has filed a grievance on his behalf.
Kane has been a perfect fit for the Oilers, as he scored 22 goals and 39 points over the course of 43 games during the regular season and he’s scored 12 goals and 15 points through the first two rounds of Edmonton’s playoff run. Given the way he’s played with the Oilers, Kane will be one of the top options on the free-agent market for teams looking for a scorer.
Dreger said that the sweet spot for Kane, who turns 31 in August, would be a three-year deal, but Holland could drive down the average annual salary on his contract by adding a couple more years of term to the deal.
Another thing to consider is that Kane might be inclined to take a discount to stick around with the Oilers if he wins his grievance with the Sharks and gets paid out the $22.8 million from the contract that was terminated.
Holland has a handful of players to deal with this off-season. Beyond Kane, Brett Kulak is also an unrestricted free agent, while Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, and Ryan McLeod are restricted free agents. Holland could also look to upgrade Edmonton’s goaltending, as Mikko Koskinen is an unrestricted free agent and is reportedly heading to play in Switzerland