The San Jose Sharks settled the grievance that the NHL Players’ Association had filed over Evander Kane’s terminated contract Friday, as the team will make a one-time payment to the winger without having to incur a salary cap charge this year or in the future.
The exact amount of money the Sharks are paying Kane was not immediately known, but the cap hit from that payment will be retroactively applied to last season when the team finished the year with close to $5 million in cap space.
The arrangement, first reported by Frank Seravalli of DailyFaceoff.com, ends a months-long dispute between the Sharks and the players’ union.
Kane was owed $19 million over the final three years of the seven-year, $49 million contract that he and the Sharks agreed to in May 2018 before the deal was terminated. Kane signed a four-year, $20.5 million contract with Edmonton in July and is owed $16.5 million by the Oilers over the next three years. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported the settlement helps to address that $2.5 million difference in pay.
The grievance was slated to be decided by an independent arbitrator, but the hearing was never completed. The Sharks would have been free of any financial obligations to Kane had the arbitrator ruled in their favor, but they would have had to take back the contract had they lost the grievance.
The Sharks in a statement said the agreement was approved by the NHL and NHLPA, adding, “we are satisfied that its terms will not adversely impact the team, either financially or competitively, in this or future seasons.”
An NHLPA spokesperson said in an email to this news organization that the union was pleased to have the matter resolved.
Kane issued a statement on his Twitter account Friday, writing, “I played some of my best hockey in San Jose and gave everything I had on the ice. I really enjoyed playing in front of the Sharks fans and appreciate my loyal fans who have supported me throughout.
“Adversity can either break you or make you stronger. It certainly made me stronger. I’m happy to finally close that chapter of my hockey career. Edmonton let’s go!”
Kane, 31, had 166 points in 212 regular season games with the Sharks from 2018 to 2021. Prior to the start of the 2021-22 season, Kane was suspended for 21 games by the NHL for a violation of the league’s COVID-19 protocol and did not play another game for the team.
Kane was placed on waivers by the Sharks on Nov. 28, 2021, and assigned to the Barracuda, San Jose’s AHL affiliate, the next day.
Kane remained with the Barracuda until the Sharks terminated the remainder of Kane’s seven-year contract in January for what it believed was a material breach of his contract and a violation of the AHL COVID-19 protocols.
At the time, the NHL felt the Sharks had proper cause to void Kane’s contract. The NHLPA, though, quickly filed a grievance on Kane’s behalf, with Dan Milstein, Kane’s agent, saying on social media that the Sharks did not have sufficient cause to justify the contract termination.
Wednesday, Sharks general manager Mike Grier hinted that the team and Kane’s camp had been working towards a settlement, adding that he and the organization were ready to move on.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to put that behind us and we can move on from it,” Grier said. “It’s been something that’s been talked about a lot, it’s taken a lot of people’s time and effort but so hopefully we’ll be able to put some closure to it.
“The people on our side are working on it, the PA and the league, and (Kane’s) representative are all working to get this thing settled as quickly as possible.”
The Sharks have just over $200,000 in cap space, per CapFriendly, with 23 players on the roster.