Evander Kane got officially suspended by the NHL after an altercation involving a linesman in the San Jose Sharks final preseason contest of the year.
The San Jose Sharks were already facing serious questions about the composition of their forward group heading into the regular season. Now with Evander Kane facing a three game suspension, Team Teal is searching for answers once again.
Following an interesting training camp filled with some interesting moments the Sharks finally appeared somewhat content with which skaters they were planning on bringing to the ice. However now they’ll have to shake things up even further with the loss of their top six forward.
It was a bizarre sequence of events that led to the NHL having to suspend the 28-year-old winger for the first three games of season. Kane got involved in a scrum on the ice with another Deryk Engelland, slashing an official with his stick in the process. After a few seconds or more of the altercation the linesman decided to end things by getting in-between the players, taking Kane down in the process.
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Both parties involved definitely could have handled that situation a lot better. But it’s hard to shake the feeling that this game between these two rivals had a strangely high level of intensity.
The tension will certainly carry into the opening night. But this time they’ll be doing it without Kane in their starting line-up. So who will Pete DeBoer choose to fill the void left in their top six?
Lean Bergmann has emerged during his time in training camp and is capable of somewhat replicating the physicality that Kane brings to the game. Antti Suomela also makes sense with his ability to play left wing and his experience in the face-off circle.
This also could have an impact on who slots on the right side of the forward group. Don’t be surprised if this forces the Sharks coaching staff to spread out the scoring talent and put Kevin Labanc with Tomas Hertl.
On top of all of this is the structure of the power play. Kane had been given the spot on the first unit throughout preseason. But now it looks like Timo Meier will get penciled in to take on those important minutes, however anything goes with the Sharks facing down a desperate situation at the beginning stages of the 2019 – 2020 campaign.
These first two games are daunting task for the Sharks. Nevertheless, you really couldn’t of schedule a better opponent to get your team ready for the realities of the regular season than your biggest rival… Twice.