SAN JOSE – Will Evander Kane join the Sharks on his upcoming five-road trip, or not? Bob Boffner – as of Friday afternoon – said he had no idea.
Kane’s 21-game suspension officially ends after Sunday’s game in Chicago, and he will be eligible to play again when the Sharks face the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday. General Manager Doug Wilson and the organization, however, have not publicly clarified their plans for Kane and his possible return.
The Sharks will leave for Chicago on Saturday morning. After Tuesday, they play the New York Islanders on Thursday, the New York Rangers on Friday, and the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday.
“Management has to make a decision here in the next few days,” Bauner said, adding that the Sharks previously played for the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Sap Center. “We’re just focusing on Chicago tonight and Sunday and let the rest take care of themselves.”
Boffner said earlier this week that it would not be realistic for Kane to jump into NHL games, as he missed all training camp and the first six weeks of Sharks season.
Whether this could mean that Kane begins a conditioning assignment with Barracuda is unclear. The Sharks’ AHL affiliate is scheduled to start practice in San Jose early next week, before they play at Abbotsford on December 4.
According to the collective bargaining agreement of the NHL and the NHLPA, a player must consent if the club wants him to play with their minor league team to improve conditioning. No conditioning loan can last more than 14 days.
Boffner said he was kept away from information about what the Sharks’ plans are for Kane.
“The public wants to know and I’m sure fans want to know, and we understand that,” Boffner said. “But what I appreciated is that I didn’t get too involved in it. They let me do my job and in fact, I have treated the players like that.
“At a certain point, I am somehow being told what is going on, and then I have to deal with it. But they have really distracted from our room.”
It’s been a familiar thing to the Sharks that they haven’t talked or thought much about the end of Kane’s suspension and their future.
Asked if this would help Sharks players get some clarity, defenseman Mario Ferraro said, “That stuff can’t be on our mind. We’re all just focused on playing game after game. Don’t be fooled by such things. We can’t focus on that, otherwise it will affect our game.”
Dahlen still out: Forward Jonathan Dahlen took part in the Sharks’ morning skate on Friday but is still not ready to play, Boffner said. Dahlen was injured in last Saturday’s game with the Washington Capitals and has now missed three straight games.
“He says that’s not enough yet,” Boffner said of Dahlen. “I want to make sure that when he comes back, he is as close to 100 (percentage) as possible. He’s a big part of us, a big part of our guilt.”
The Sharks are making a lineup change for Friday, as Boffner is inserting Jonah Gadjoev in the fourth row with Nick Bonino and Andrew Cogliano, and scratching Scott Ready, who earlier this week moved to Carolina and Ottawa. played against.