Late last season, the Washington Capitals popped up in numerous rumors about being interested in signing Evander Kane.
“Another team who has at least discussed it and considered [signing Kane] is the Washington Capitals,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported in January. “There’s nothing done. No contact or nothing like that, but they’re another team in addition to the Oilers who have looked into this.”
Match TV’s Pavel Lysenkov recently added another layer to that reporting in a feature story he wrote about Kane’s season. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, according to Lysenkov, called Kane personally to pitch him on signing with Washington around the time he was reinstated by the NHL.
The following Lysenkov passage was translated into English by Elizabeth Winters:
Alex Ovechkin wanted Evander Kane to join the Capitals. In January 2022, Kane, 30, became a UFA and was considering offers from other teams. Washington was interested in strengthening its first two lines and Ovechkin called Kane to extend an invitation. In that case, the Capitals could have used a line Ovi-Kuzya-Kane in the playoffs.
The Capitals, at the time, were dealing with a myriad of injury issues to their top six, including TJ Oshie and Anthony Mantha.
Kane went on to sign with the Edmonton Oilers and the rest is history.
Kane scored 39 points (22g, 17a) in 43 games during the regular season and 17 points (14g, 3a) in 15 Oilers’ playoff games. The Oilers were swept in the Western Conference Final by the Colorado Avalanche.
The Capitals were eliminated in the first round for the fourth straight season. The team had more top six forward issues early in the series as they lost Tom Wilson to a knee injury minutes into Game One.
Before signing with Edmonton, Kane was sidelined for the first few months of the season due to sexual assault and battery allegations, forging a vaccine passport, and gambling problems. The San Jose Sharks terminated Kane’s seven-year, $49 million contract due to what they called a “breach of his NHL Standard Player Contract and for violation of the AHL COVID-19 protocols.”
Kane is an unrestricted free agent this summer.
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