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Sharks trade for Evander Kane

Evander Kane was traded from the Buffalo Sabres to the San Jose Sharks. He's a good fit there, and being an unrestricted free agent after the season will be a motivator.

The San Jose Sharks landed one of the biggest fish during the trade deadline, acquiring Evander Kane from the Buffalo Sabres for a package that includes a conditional first-round pick.

This comes a day after the Sharks came up in Erik Karlsson rumors, not unlike the Nashville Predators did before trading for Ryan Hartman instead.

The most intriguing question revolves around the future. Kane, 26, is a pending UFA. Will the Sharks eventually give him a contract extension, or will this be a rental? There’s some back-and-forth in that regard.

For keeping Kane:


The trade: Some specifics are still being hashed out, but the basic parameters are reported as:

Sharks receive: Evander Kane.

Sabres receive: A conditional 2019 first-round pick, a conditional 2020 second-rounder, and prospect Danny O’Regan, via The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun. This post will be updated if there are further details.

LeBrun fills in details on the conditions, too:

Why the Sharks made the trade: With an aging core, you never know when the Sharks’ window is closing. They currently hold the second seed in the Pacific Division, but there isn’t a large margin of error. Even if they’re only ending up with a rental for Kane, he could help them secure a playoff spot and try to make another postseason push. That’s especially valuable with Joe Thornton hurt.

San Jose might be one of the better spots for Kane from a “chemistry” standpoint. You’d think that being in a contract year should reduce risks anyway, but a veteran group could help in that regard.

The Sharks can eventually give Kane an extension, but if they’d like, they can make sure he’s a good fit. Kane gets a chance to show what he can do in a contract year on a quality team.

Why the Sabres did it: With Kane’s contract expiring and the Sabres still trying to build a competent team, this had to happen. The sting of seeing Kane re-sign with San Jose would be limited if that means it will be a first-round pick for Buffalo.

The years lose a bit of punch from an instant gratification standpoint, yet it might not be such a bad thing for Buffalo. What if the Sharks re-sign Kane but sputter in 2018-19 anyway? In that case, a first-rounder from San Jose could be more valuable in 2019 than 2018.

O’Regan is a nice gesture to Jack Eichel, much like bringing in Evan Rodriguez once was.

Overall, a decent but not explosive package back to Buffalo. Some fans might not love the return compared to the packages for an older Rick Nash or a less explosive Ryan Hartman.

Who won the trade?

It’s another different goals situation, as the Sharks aim for the present while the Sabres look to the future.

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MORE: PHT’s 2018 Trade Deadline Tracker.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.