Evander Kane
Will the Sharks trade top scorer Evander Kane? Locker room and gambling troubles may force the Sharks’ hand and force the organization to trade Kane. (Brandon Magnus | Credit: NHLI via Getty Images)

Will The Sharks Trade Top Scorer Evander Kane?

Evander Kane was a lightning rod this year (and a huge part of why I won my fantasy hockey league this year). Kane was on pace for a 32 goal and 40 assist season if a full 82 game schedule was in place. However, Kane has a gambling addiction, his teammates don’t like him, and the Sharks stink. Is that a recipe for a trade?

Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli released a trade bait board for the upcoming offseason. The Sharks top sharpshooter was number five on the list, which seems like a surprise at first glance. The only notable names ahead of him are Jack Eichel (who’s long gone), Seth Jones (who also requested a trade), and Evgeny Kuznetsov (who is more interested in sniffing white powder instead of playing hockey).

“Scoop: Doug Wilson is navigating choppy waters in the Bay Area. Sources indicate significant friction built up between Kane and a number of his teammates last season, frustration that was expressed clearly to management in exit interviews. The trouble is Kane is also coming off the best season of his career: 32 goal and 40 assist pace over an 82-game season. He is one of the best at his position with a relentless forechecking style  – and he’s signed to a contract that is commensurate with that production. We’ll see where this goes.”

We’ve known Kane has been a bit of a head case but his penalty minutes came way down this year. The gambling thing is real but who knows if that helps or hurts his trade chances. The contract is quite large, but Kane should be moveable given the production.

I mentioned recently that a Max Pacioretty for Evander Kane swap still seems to make sense. It’s the type of contending team that needs an offensive boost and has a big contract to flip in return. Kane isn’t a perfect player but the offensive prowess still has value – baggage and all.

The Sharks insist they’re contenders but Kane feels like one piece that could depart San Jose this Summer.