Boughner says Kane will play, not worried about ‘distraction'


No, Sharks forward Evander Kane will not sit out the 2021 NHL season. 

“I don’t think we’re worried about a distraction,” coach Bob Boughner said Tuesday to reporters. “I won’t make a comment on any player’s personal situation, but I am assured that he will be here for the whole season and that he’s on board.” 

Kane reportedly filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in a petition in federal bankruptcy court in San Jose on Saturday, listing nearly $27 million in debt. That petition also gave Sharks fans reason for concern regarding Kane's status for the upcoming 56-game season. The filing stated the “Debtor may terminate his contract and he may opt out of the season, as allowed under current rules, because of health concerns given the recent birth of his first child. Should he terminate his contract or opt out at a point in the season, Debtor will not receive his salary.”

The 29-year-old Kane did not opt out ahead of the NHL's Christmas Eve deadline. He has participated in the Sharks' training camp, which is being held in Scottsdale, Ariz. 

Boughner confirmed Kane will play Thursday in the Sharks' season opener against the Arizona Coyotes, and he had nothing but good to say about the veteran's showing in training camp. 

"Good on him," Boughner said. "I know there’s other stuff going on, but he seems to be ready to go, and when he’s at the top of his game, he’s one of our best players and is a guy that we need. He’s a heck of a hockey player." 

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The Sharks acquired Kane from the Buffalo Sabres during the 2017-18 season. San Jose then signed Kane to a seven-year, $49 million contract in 2018. Over the last two seasons, he has scored 103 points -- 56 goals and 47 assists -- in a 139-game span. He also led the league in penalty minutes over the last two years. 

Boughner knows the Sharks need the very best from Kane to compete in the stacked West Division, and they believe they have every reason that's exactly what Kane will bring to the ice this season.

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