Evander Kane skates during an Edmonton Oilers game.
Photo credit: Daily Hive

The real reason Evander Kane was benched is revealed

Published March 25, 2024 at 4:42 PM

Evander Kane was scratched before the Edmonton Oilers 5-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Sunday, and we now know the reason why.

Coach Kris Knoblauch announced it as a maintenance day, but NHL insider Elliotte Friedman says there might be more to the story.

Edmonton Oilers had a rough outing against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, quickly going down 5-0 in a 6-3 loss on hockey night in Canada. The Leafs were getting physical, and Kane was caught having a heated exchange with Leon Draisaitl on the bench. According to Friedman, the scratch might not have been just about maintenance; it could've been a move to spark some more physical play from Kane.

Why Evander Kane was scratched

Now, Friedman did mention that Kane has been dealing with a few nagging injuries this season, so maybe they just wanted to give him some rest on a back-to-back. But let's face it, Kane's been struggling lately. He hasn't scored a goal in 16 games, and after that Leafs game, it felt more like a performance-related scratch than just a rest day.

Sure, the arguments on the bench and complaints about ice time don't paint Kane in the best light publicly. Yet if the Oilers were trying to light a fire under him, benching him might've been the wake-up call he needed.
When Kane's on his game, he's a power forward who can dish out punishment and put pucks in the net.

We'll likely see Kane back in action for the Oilers' game against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night. It'll be interesting to see how Knoblauch uses him in the lineup and how Kane responds against his former team after a stint in the press box.
March 25   |   190 answers
The real reason Evander Kane was benched is revealed

What do you think was the main reason behind Evander Kane's surprise scratch from the Oilers' lineup?

Performance related reasons13872.6 %
Maintenance5227.4 %
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