- Greg Wyshynski is ESPN’s senior NHL writer.
Evander Kane is staying with the Edmonton Oilers on a new four-year contract, he announced in a Twitter post Tuesday night just hours before the NHL free agent market opens.
Kane’s deal has an average annual value of $5.125 million against the salary cap.
Kane totaled 22 goals and 17 assists in 43 games with Edmonton last season, scoring 13 goals in 15 playoff games. He spent most of his time playing in the wing of star center Connor McDavid.
The Oilers allowed Kane to speak with other teams before the NHL’s free agency period opened, while continuing talks with the left wing.
“We had tons and tons of talks. We don’t have much cap space,” Edmonton general manager Ken Holland said at the NHL draft last week.
Kane was expected to be one of the most prominent goal-scoring forwards available in unrestricted free agency. Multiple reports indicated Kane was seeking a long-term contract upwards of $7 million annually. Instead, he opted to re-up with Edmonton.
In his Twitter post, which included the subject line “I’m back,” Kane thanked the Oilers for giving him an opportunity “to remind people who I am as a player and a person.”
Kane, 30, signed with the Oilers in January after the San Jose Sharks terminated the remainder of his seven-year, $49 million contract for violating COVID-19 protocols while in the American Hockey League. Kane has challenged the Sharks’ decision by filing a grievance through the NHL Players’ Association.
“A big part of my decision to stay in Edmonton was because of the opportunity given to me only seven months ago, but also the chance to be a part of a championship team,” Kane wrote. “I want to win and I believe, after signing this deal, we will be able to add the right pieces along with myself to accomplish that goal.”
According to PuckPedia, an NHL contract and salary cap tracking site, Kane’s contract includes $11.5 million in signing bonus money and a no-movement clause through Feb. 28, 2025; after that, it’s a 16-team no-trade list.
Kane’s grievance with the Sharks complicated his free agent status, as a ruling in his favor could theoretically reinstate his contract with San Jose.
Controversy has followed Kane during his 13-year NHL career with the Atlanta Thrashers, Winnipeg Jets and Buffalo Sabres and in his four years with the Sharks. At the start of last season, he was investigated by the NHL after being accused by his estranged wife, Anna Kane, of domestic assault and of wagering on NHL games, including his own with San Jose. The NHL said the assault allegations “could not be substantiated” and found no evidence that he bet on hockey.
Kane was not invited to the Sharks’ preseason training camp because of the investigations. He was then suspended for 21 games after submitting a fake vaccine card to the Sharks and the NHL. Kane ended up not playing in the regular season until the Oilers signed him to a one-year deal worth $2,108,696.
“You need to get an understanding about everything that’s gone on in that person’s life. I believe in second chances. It’s hard to be perfect,” Holland said at the time. “We’re all people. Some make big mistakes, some make little mistakes. I think if somebody makes a mistake in their life, they have to try to learn from it and try to change.”
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