Vancouver Canucks benefit from Evander Kane re-signing with Sharks

SAN JOSE, CA - FEBRUARY 27: Evander Kane
SAN JOSE, CA - FEBRUARY 27: Evander Kane /

According to multiple reports, the San Jose Sharks are about to sign Evander Kane to a massive seven-year extension. And believe it or not, this is beneficial for the Vancouver Canucks.

The Vancouver Canucks can scratch one potential free agent target off their list, because Evander Kane is on the verge of signing a seven-year extension with the San Jose Sharks, per TSN’s Darren Dreger.

At first glance, this is bad news for the Canucks. The Sharks are powerhouse in the Pacific Division, and this only strengthens one of Vancouver’s biggest competitors and rivals. But really, Canucks fans should be happy with this news.

More from The Canuck Way in March,  Jason Brough of The Athletic (h/t Spector’s Hockey), said he’d be surprised if the Canucks didn’t pursue Kane, a Vancouver native.

But there was no way general manager Jim Benning should have chased the 26-year-old.

Yes, Kane is one of the top snipers in the game – having scored 20-plus goals in three consecutive seasons. When healthy, he’s a complete game-changer, but that doesn’t mean the Canucks should have pursued him.

Problem is, there’s no trusting this front office entirely when they say they’re rebuilding. If that were the case, they wouldn’t have signed Loui Eriksson for $36 million, or Sam Gagner for three years.

The Canucks already owe too much money to Eriksson, and devoting more to another scoring winger in Kane wouldn’t be worth the risk. Yes, the Canucks have plenty of salary cap space, but consider that Brock Boeser hasn’t signed a big extension yet. And that Jake Virtanen, Elias Pettersson, Olli Juolevi and Thatcher Demko could one day command lots of cash, too.

Benning would be doing the right thing by avoiding big fish this offseason, but you can’t help but think he’d have a tough time resisting the urge to sign Kane. The good news is that the Sharks took that option off the table.

Kane is a great player, yes. But he turns 27 in August, and there’s a long list of star scorers that started declining once they turned 30. By the time the Canucks are competing again and challenging for Cups, Kane will be on the wrong side of 30. That’s not something Benning would want to have in four years’ time.

With Kane off the table, Benning has no expensive free agents to realistically go after. Canucks fans don’t have to worry about the team overpaying for another veteran that only has so many prime years.

Next: Canucks: Jim Benning is adapting to the draft

So thank you, San Jose. Canucks fans owe you one.