On Friday, the news broke that embattled San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane would play for the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda on Saturday. Before the NHL trade rumors begin to grind gears, it is Kane’s first game this season after multiple investigations and a fake vaccination card, which led to a 21-game suspension. The public scrutiny and Kane’s reports of Kane’s internal behavior highlighted the offseason and burned bridges with the San Jose Sharks locker room.
A Pittsburgh Penguins scout will be in attendance for Kane’s first AHL game.
Ryan Bowness, the Penguins Director of Pro Scouting, will be there.
Bowness is one of six scouts on the list for the game, first reported by Curtis Pashelka of the Bay Area News Group and confirmed by sources with first hand knowledge.
The Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Dallas Stars, who are playing the San Jose Sharks, are on the press box list.
Kane was investigated for several issues in the offseason, after his ex-wife made several accusations including spousal abuse, and betting on Sharks games. He was cleared of those accusations but was suspended for 21 games when it was found he faked his vaccination card.
Kane’s behavior last season alienated teammates and there are reports that several teammates asked the organization to part ways with Kane. The Sharks could have activated Kane last month and added him to the NHL roster, but instead, put him through waivers and assigned him to the San Jose Barracuda until the matter can be resolved.
There are a couple of cautionary notes. Scouts often have their schedules made weeks in advance, and local reporters tell us scouts love the Barracuda/Sharks doubleheaders in San Jose–two birds with one stone.
So, it could be a coincidence that a Pittsburgh Penguins scout is in the building for the event. We shouldn’t necessarily connect NHL trade rumors and Kane to any of the teams above.
However, all of the teams listed could use a power forward with soft hands like Kane, too.