NHL investigation provides Oilers extra time to ponder questions on Kane

EDMONTON — Evander Kane could by no means play for the Edmonton Oilers. However for the week, at the least, he rents a penthouse within the minds of Oilers followers, the one matter being mentioned by supporters of this scuffling franchise.

There have been Twitter polls, trending roughly 60-40 in favour of a Kane signing, with one aspect of the fan base focussed on Kane’s previous transgressions, the opposite enjoying out what number of objectives he may rating within the second half of the season. Or whether or not the addition of a premier left-winger would free Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to turn into the third-line centre, maybe with Zack Hyman on his wing?

Depth versus decadence.

Wins versus woke.

What’s vital in sports activities anymore? Is it merely successful? Or does it matter HOW you win, and with whom you attempt to win?

“Clearly there may be plenty of speaking going round,” stated Oilers captain Connor McDavid, who’s poised to have a front-row seat within the fourth Nationwide Hockey League dressing room to which Kane’s exorbitant degree of drama can be infused.

McDavid’s normal supervisor — Ken Holland — has broached the subject with him, seemingly asking if there can be any objections from the Oilers leaders to a Kane acquisition. The reply needed to be “No,” or we by no means would have reached this level.

“I’ve talked to Kenny,” McDavid stated. “I believe that’s why everybody likes Kenny a lot is as a result of he’s such an open guide. He retains that open line of communication along with his guys and we for positive know the state of affairs.”

McDavid and his head coach Dave Tippett have been on the identical web page of a guide that was not so huge open. Neither have been very prepared to dive right into a state of affairs that won’t come to fruition for the Oilers.

“Each side are nonetheless doing their due diligence,” Tippett stated on Wednesday. “(Holland) spoke to me about it yesterday, that they have been taking a look at. And from what I learn Evander Kane is doing his due diligence about it, too.

“Till everybody does their due diligence, it’s a moot level for me.”

Proper about then, Elliotte Friedman got here out and poured chilly water on the entire state of affairs:

So now we wait. And as we wait, questions come up.

Inquiries to which we don’t have any solutions:

• So, if Kane obtained a 21-game suspension earlier this season for violating COVID-19 protocols — reportedly by submitting a faux vaccination card — what sort of suspension may the NHL levy for having crossed a world border whereas on COVID protocol? Does it go up from 21? And if it does, what crew needs to place a man of their lineup for the ultimate six weeks of the season, after not having performed an NHL recreation since final Might?

• It’s true that, as a result of Kane was technically an American Hockey League participant on the time of that newest transgression, the NHL doesn’t have jurisdiction to droop him in any respect? And the way do you acquire from a participant whose contract is within the means of being nullified? Who cuts the verify for the Gamers Help Fund?

• If Kane does register Edmonton, does he play on the highest line with McDavid? Does Nugent-Hopkins fill the Oilers’ gap at third-line centre? Does Hyman slide all the way down to play with RNH, giving Edmonton the deepest High 9 they’ve had in endlessly, because of Kane?

• Kane favours jersey No. 9. However in Edmonton that quantity hangs within the roster honouring Glenn Anderson. And No. 99, properly… Quantity 19? That’s Mikko Koskinen. No. 29? Ever hear of a man named Leon Draisaitl. Is that this karma telling Holland there isn’t any place on his crew for Kane?

Questions, questions, questions…

Then there may be this one: “Do the Oilers fear about bringing a disruptive participant, as Kane has traditionally been, into their dressing room?”

“Honestly, I don’t assume that’s a bridge we actually have to cross till one thing is extra official,” deferred McDavid. “Proper now it’s all hypothesis. Clearly Evander is a tremendous participant and he’s had plenty of success over the past couple of years and no matter else is occurring, it’s not one thing I look into a lot.”

Of us, don’t child yourselves.

We get how Tippett and McDavid would moderately not speak about a participant who could by no means find yourself in Edmonton. It’s journalists’ jobs to ask, however it’s not theirs to wander away down the trail of hypothesis on a subject that will by no means come to be.

Nonetheless, don’t assume Holland is the one one doing his “due diligence.”

Don’t imagine for a second that Tippett has not picked up the cellphone to talk with a man like San Jose Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer, or Kane’s coach in Buffalo (Dan Bylsma) or Winnipeg Paul Maurice.

Has McDavid quietly reached out to buddies or former teammates on the Jets, Sharks or Sabres? I’d be stunned if he hasn’t.

As a result of there are questions. So many questions in terms of the enigma that’s Evander Kane.

Solutions, nevertheless? Of these there usually are not almost as many.

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