Ken Holland told us two weeks ago that his intentions for turning the Oilers around didn’t involve making a big trade, let alone giving up a high-end prospect for a rental at the NHL Trade Deadline.
So that’s why the Evander Kane signing makes sense for him. He didn’t have to give up an asset for a player who’s scored 78 goals over the last three seasons, and it cost Edmonton little in salary.
In defending the move on Friday, Holland said he reached to to many in the hockey world about Kane, including the team’s leadership group. He didn’t see any problems with bringing in a player with his kind of reputation.
“I think my message to the fans would be I’ve done my due diligence,” said Holland. “I’ve talked to a lot of people. … Certainly we’re trying to win, trying to be a more competitive team. It’s a move made to make our team better. … Like Evander said…Evander is 30. He’s been through a lot of experiences in his life, and I believe there’s another opportunity here that can be a positive experience for all of us, for the fans, for Evander, and the Edmonton Oilers.”
But the cheap cost comes with baggage. We all know Kane’s history and why he’s a risk to bring into the Oilers’ dressing room. But Holland is desperate. He’s not firing Dave Tippett, which will continue his streak as a GM of never dismissing a coach in-season. He’s not making a big trade — at least yet. This is the move for now.