Sunday, May 28, 2023

NHL inquiry gives Oilers more time to consider questions about Kane

Edmonton – Evander Kane may never play for the Edmonton Oilers. But for the week, at least, he rents a penthouse in the minds of Oilers fans, the only topic being discussed by supporters of this mayhem franchise.

There were Twitter polls trending around 60-40 in favor of Kane’s signing, with one side of the fan base focusing on Kane’s past offenses, the other playing down how many goals he could score in the second half of the season. Or will the addition of a key left winger free up Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to be center of the third line, perhaps with Jack Hyman at his wing?

Depth vs Fall.

Won Vs.

What is important in sports now? Is it just winning? Or does it matter how you win, and with whom do you try to win?

“There’s apparently a lot of talk,” said Oilers captain Conor McDavid, who is vying for a front-row seat in the fourth National Hockey League dressing room, in which Kane will communicate an extreme level of drama.

McDavid’s general manager – Ken Holland – has discussed the matter with him, possibly asking whether there will be any objections from Oilers leaders to the acquisition of Kane. The answer should have been “no”, or we would never have gotten to this point.

“I’ve talked to Kenny,” McDavid said. “I think that’s why everyone likes Kenny so much because he’s such an open book. He keeps an open line of communication with his people and we definitely know the situation.”

McDavid and his head coach Dave Tippett were on the same page of a book that was not so open. Neither of them was ready to go into a situation which was not possible for the Oilers.

“Both sides are still doing their due diligence,” Tippit said on Wednesday. “(Holland) talked to me about it yesterday, which they were looking into. And from what I’ve read, Evander Kane is doing his due diligence about it too.

“Unless everyone does their due diligence, this is an important issue for me.”

Right then, Elliot Friedman came out and poured cold water on the whole situation:

So now we wait. And as we wait, questions arise.

Questions we have no answers for:

• Therefore, if Kane received a 21-game suspension earlier this season for violating COVID-19 protocols – allegedly by submitting a counterfeit vaccination card – how would the NHL cross an international border on COVID protocols? Can a suspension be imposed? Does it go above 21? And if it does, which team wants to have a guy in their lineup for the final six weeks of the season, after not playing an NHL game since last May?

• Is it true that, because Kane was technically an American Hockey League player at the time of that latest infringement, the NHL does not have jurisdiction to suspend him? And how do you recover from a player whose contract is in the process of being canceled? Who draws the checks of Players Assistance Fund?

• If Kane signs on to Edmonton, does he play in the top line with McDavid? Does Nugent-Hopkins fill the Oilers’ hole in third-row center? Does Hyman slip down to play with RNH, giving Edmonton the deepest Top 9 he’ll ever have thanks to Kane?

• Kane favors jersey number 9. But in Edmonton that number hangs on the roster in honor of Glenn Anderson. And number 99, well… number 19? That’s Mikko Koskinen. number 29? Have you ever heard of a boy named Leon Dreitel. Is this karma telling Holland that there is no place for Kane on his team?

Question, question, question…

Then there’s this one: “Do the Oilers worry about bringing in a disruptive player, as Kane has historically been in their dressing room?”

“Frankly, I don’t think it’s a bridge that we really need to cross until something more official happens,” McDavid paused. “It is all speculation right now. Obviously Evander is an amazing player and he’s had a lot of success over the years and whatever is happening, it’s not something I pay much attention to.

Guys, don’t joke.

We find out how Tippett and McDavid wouldn’t talk about a player who could never end up in Edmonton. It is the job of journalists to ask, but it is not their job to deviate from the path of speculation on a topic that may never happen.

However, don’t think that Holland is the only one doing its “due diligence”.

Don’t believe for a moment that Tippett hasn’t picked up the phone to talk to Pete DeBoer, head coach of the San Jose Sharks, or a guy like Kane’s coach (Dan Bielsma) in Buffalo or Winnipeg Paul Maurice.

Has McDavid quietly contacted friends or former teammates on the Jets, Sharks or Cebres? I’d be surprised if he isn’t.

Because there are questions. So many questions when it comes to the puzzle which is Evander Kane.

Answer, though? There aren’t nearly as many of them.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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