'Ready to go': Evander Kane looks to make his mark as the newest Edmonton Oiler
Evander Kane says he’s ready to put his past behind him and make his mark as the newest Edmonton Oiler.
Kane, 30, was introduced to Edmonton media on Friday. The Vancouver native is with his fourth National Hockey League organization after his contract was voided by the San Jose Sharks three weeks ago.
"The team is ripe to win now and I thought I'd be a great fit,” Kane said of joining the Oilers.
“I’m really excited to be here. You’ve got two of the best players in the world here.”
Kane signed a one-year contract with a full no-move clause that will pay him close to $1 million for the remainder of the season, according to the team.
He recorded 49 points, including 22 goals, in 45 games last year for the Sharks.
That team ended its relationship with Kane after a number of issues that were investigating by the NHL.
Kane was released after the Sharks claimed he violated COVID-19 protocols while he was with the club's American Hockey League affiliate.
The NHL looked into allegations that Kane improperly crossed the Canada-U.S. border in December shortly after he tested positive for COVID-19.
He was suspended by the league for 21 games earlier in the season for submitting a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.
And, he had been accused of gambling on hockey and purposely losing games he bet on, as well as sexual and physical abuse from his estranged wife
Ultimately, the NHL ruled that Kane would not be disciplined and that he was "eligible to sign and play for any NHL Club without restriction."
"I'm not sitting here saying I'm perfect,” Kane said Friday. "I take responsibility for things that I've done wrong, but I'm definitely not going to take any responsibility for things I haven't done.”
“I've had a lot of experience on and off the ice ... and I tried to share those experiences with guys on the team and try to help prevent them from making those same mistakes that I have.”
General manager Ken Holland said the team is well aware of those past incidents, but that he believes in second chances.
"I've done my due diligence. I've talked to a lot of people,” Holland said.
“It's an important time for the Edmonton Oilers and it's an important time in Evanders' career so I think there's good motivation on all of our parts to have this workout in the best interests of everybody.”
Coach Dave Tippett described Kane as “a big strong player” and said he’ll play a key role in the weeks ahead.
"We're just very happy to have him join our team,” he said. “We'll go on the road. We'll work with each other and see where the best fit is."
Oilers fans won’t have to wait long to see the team’s latest signing on the ice. Kane is slated to be in the lineup for the team’s Saturday night game in Montreal against the Canadiens.