Edmonton Oilers power forward Evander Kane suffered a severe cut to his wrist after Patrick Maroon’s skate blade made accidental contact during Tuesday’s matchup against the Washington Capitals. According to Oilers GM Ken Holland, after being stabilized at the arena, Kane was rushed to the hospital with two minutes left in the second period, where he underwent immediate surgery on his wrist. Early this morning, Kane spoke out on his Twitter, stating that he is “on the mend” and is looking forward to being back with his team playing the game he loves.
What does this mean for the club?
According to Edmonton Oilers’ official media, Evander Kane has been placed on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) and is expected to miss three to four months. The Oilers have recalled Mattias Janmark and Klim Kostin from the Bakersfield Condors. Obviously, this is a huge blow to the top six for the Oilers; Kane has had five goals and eight assists in 14 games this season.
When Kane was signed halfway through last season, he added much needed depth on the left wing and helped fill out two powerful lines when splitting up Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. His gritty style of play added the needed toughness in the top six, and his offensive power-forward type game complimented both McDavid’s and Draisaitl’s game.
The cap implications with Kane’s absence
With Kane on LTIR for the next few months, the Oilers will get his $5.125M cap hit off the books as he is expected to be back after the trade deadline on March 3. Mattias Janmark and Klim Kostin have a combined cap hit of $2M – this leaves the Oilers with $3.125M in cap room to adjust the roster as of now.
It is almost certain that the Oilers will not be able to find a replacement forward of the same calibre as Kane with the remaining $3.125M. They might be able to work out a deal to have a team retain some salary if the Oilers add some sort of sweetener to the exchange.
One thing is certain, there is a gaping hole on the left side of the top six in Kane’s absence. The Oilers are in a tough spot whether Ken Holland decides to try to fill it from within, maybe with Dylan Holloway, or go looking on the market for a player.
Possible line combinations
With this lineup, Holloway is given a huge opportunity to show what he can do on a line with Draisaitl and Zach Hyman. Janmark is granted a spot on the left wing of the fourth line, and Kostin is the odd man out.
If Holloway does not work out in the top six, we could a lineup similar to this with Kailer Yamamoto back on the second line with Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins; Holloway would drop back down to the third line with Ryan McLeod and Warren Foegele.
What lies ahead for the Oilers without Kane
Although we do not know specific details of his injury, judging by the long estimated recovery time, we can assume that he probably sustained both artery and ligament damage. The good news is that if everything goes according to plan and Kane is able to rehab his injury within the time frame the doctors provided, he will likely be back with the club about a month before the start of the 2022–23 post–season.
According to Jay Woodcroft during yesterday’s media availability, Kane is in good spirits and has driven down to meet the team before their game in Florida afterwords, he will fly home with the team.
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire