Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane
Photo credit: The Hockey Writers

Truth comes out on why the Edmonton Oilers scratched Evander Kane

Published March 25, 2024 at 5:43 PM

Just before the Oilers game yesterday, head coach Kris Knoblauch surprised everyone by scratching Evander Kane. While the team cited it as a maintenance day, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman suggests there's more to it.

The Oilers had a disappointing performance against the Maple Leafs the night before, with the Leafs dominating physically. Kane was even seen arguing with Draisaitl on the bench. According to Friedman, the scratch might not have been for maintenance but rather to ignite more physical play from Kane.

EF on 32TP about Kane's scratch:

«Kris Knoblauch came out before the Ottawa game on Sunday night and said Kane is out for maintenance you could tell the reporters who were there didn't believe it. I wondered about it too, is this a healthy scratch that they're keeping quiet. I wonder if the Oilers were just saying, we wanna do something here but we don't wanna pour gasoline on the fire... but that scratch a day after McDavid and Draisaitl getting roughed up a bit and Kane being a guy who can definitely do something, it had people wondering.»

Friedman also mentioned that Kane has been dealing with nagging injuries throughout the year, so resting him on a back-to-back game could also be a reason. Kane's recent struggle, going 16 games without a goal, makes it feel more like a performance-related scratch than maintenance.

The reported bench arguments and complaints about ice time don't help Kane's public image. However, if the Oilers aimed to spark him, benching him could be the best method. When Kane is at his best, he's one of the top power forwards in the league, known for his physical play and scoring ability. Currently, he seems either off his game or bothered by injuries, warranting his absence.

Kane is expected to return to the lineup for the Oilers' game against Winnipeg. It'll be intriguing to see where Knoblauch places him and how Kane performs against his former team after his time in the press box.

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Insider reveals the real reason why the Oilers scratched Evander Kane
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Truth comes out on why the Edmonton Oilers scratched Evander Kane

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