With news that Evander Kane is having another baby boy and coming off of a hat trick against the Seattle Kraken, it felt like the right time to revisit just how good a decision it was by the Edmonton Oilers to sign Kane as a free agent and then retain him again, keeping him as a long-term part of their forward corps during a window to compete for the Stanley Cup.
Kane signed a one-year $1 million contract with Edmonton after the San Jose Sharks decided they no longer wanted anything to do with him and terminated his contract. Teams were too afraid of his locker room reputation to go near him — all but Ken Holland — who immediately made it known the Oilers were interested. He came in, scored 22 goals in 43 regular-season games and then another 13 goals in 15 playoff games, helping take the Oilers to the Western Conference Final.
It was a “show-me” half-season for Kane who was likely looking to get the best deal possible on the open market. He looked around and when the big-money deals he was hoping for weren’t coming at him in waves, he circled back to the Oilers and signed a four-year $20.5 million contract extension on July 13, 2022.
Kane might have been the best gamble the Oilers have made on a player in the last 20 years. He’s been everything the Oilers could have asked for and together, they’ve proven that the experiences of the past don’t necessarily determine the experiences of the future. Take one look at how Kane interacted with Connor McDavid during the gender reveal video and how genuinely happy McDavid was for his teammate, and it’s clear these two have a ton of love and respect for each other. It’s a common sight that seems to follow Kane, who was seen earlier in the season joking with former Oilers’ forward Jesse Puljujarvi when speculation existed that Puljujarvi might not have always fit in as well as some others.
Despite some injuries this season that have forced Kane to miss significant time, he’s finding his stride again and not only has Kane shown he’s got the on-ice production the Oilers were looking for, but he’s also a solid teammate that has warmed himself to Oilers Nation.
In the first season of a new four-year, $5.125 million extension, Kane has found a home in Edmonton. It’s one that he seems to really enjoy and he’s adding to his family here. It’s a wonderful sight to see for Oilers fans who not only want the player to help bring them a Stanley Cup, but genuinely want to see these players grow as teammates, friends, and now parents.
Next: How Maple Leafs Matt Murray Handles the Intense Stress of Shootouts
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