Due to her hometown connection, Sabers have been one of the most discussed teams when it comes to acquiring Kane. You would think he wouldn’t be interested in playing for a team that has struggled so much over the past several years, but with some of the recent changes this organization has made, they may not be as far from the competition as some think.
Young talents like Tage Thompson, Dylan Cozens, Peyton Krebs and Casey Mittelstadt at the front end, along with Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power at the back, have brought this team closer to being a heavyweight playoff roster than many realize. Adding Kane, who still has plenty of it, will only add to what has suddenly become a promising group.
After winning the Stanley Cup last season, the Colorado Avalanche were forced to part with several key members of their offensive in Nazim Kadri and Andrei Burakowski. By all accounts, they are expected to compete again in 2022-23, although not as team-wide as they were at this time last year.
This loss in attack is exactly why some believe they will be facing Kane all next season if they haven’t already. Not only will he come and instantly become one of the most lethal players of the group in terms of offensive skill, but he will also add more winning experience to a group that now has a lot more.
When it comes to taking possession of Kane, as with any team, it won’t be easy. Avalanche has some interesting little pieces on their current roster that Black Hawks will undoubtedly look forward to getting in return, along with a few draft picks. To sort things out from a salary perspective, one could imagine that Eric Johnson, who is in the final year of a deal that pays him $6 million, would head the other way.
The other team that has grown up a lot this summer when the Kane talk got heated up was the Edmonton Oilers. It’s not clear exactly how much truth lies behind this speculation, although it would give Jay Woodcroft’s team another serious threat up front, and boy, would it be fun to watch.
In terms of the top six attacking group, there are few, if any, teams as deep as the Oilers. With players up front like Conor McDavid, Leon Drysittle, Evander Kane, Zach Heyman and Ryan Nugent Hopkins, they’ve proven so much last season that they can beat teams on talent alone. Adding Kane to that group would make them frankly intimidating, and arguably the most intimidating team to have faced defenders in the entire league.
The main problem with Oilers’ acquisition of Kane is that the cap space is currently very small. If such a deal were to be struck, general manager Ken Holland would need to be very creative, something he was not known for during his time in Edmonton. However, you can bet his best player at McDavid will push for such a move, which in and of itself might be enough to force Holland to find a way to get it done.