Evander Kane with the Edmonton Oilers.
Photo credit: TheHockeyWriters

Insider reveals the real reason why the Oilers scratched Evander Kane

Published March 25, 2024 at 12:25

Just hours before the Oilers game yesterday, coach Knoblauch announced a surprise scratch for Evander Kane. The team cited a maintenance day, but NHL insider Elliotte Friedman says there's more to it.

The Oilers had a very disappointing effort against the Maple Leafs the night before. The Leafs pushed the Oilers around physically, and Kane was spotted arguing with Draisaitl on the bench. According to Friedman, the scratch may not have been a maintenance day at all, and they wanted to make a move to spark more physical play from Kane.

Friedman did also note that Kane has been dealing with a few nagging injuries that have affected him through the year, and they may just want to rest him on a back to back. There's no doubt that Kane is struggling, as he's now gone 16 games without a goal. After the Leafs game, it sure felt like a performance related scratch, not maintenance.

The arguments on the bench and reported complaints about ice time don't help Kane's case publicly, but if the Oilers did want to scratch Kane to light a fire under him, this was the best method to do so. When Kane is at his best, he's one of the premier power forwards in the league - a player who can play a punishing physical game while also scoring. Right now, he's either floating a bit or being nagged by an injury. Either way, he should be sitting.

Kane will likely get back into the lineup for the Oilers game against Winnipeg tomorrow night. It'll be interesting to see where Knoblauch slots him in the lineup upon his return, and how Kane plays against his former team coming back from a trip to the press box.
March 25   |   492 answers
Insider reveals the real reason why the Oilers scratched Evander Kane

Should Evander Kane be playing in the top six or bottom six?

Top six all the time21142.9 %
Bottom six all the time12024.4 %
Change between according to his play16132.7 %
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