The NHL has cleared Evander Kane after an investigation into his cross-border travel during the holiday break, paving the way for him to join the Edmonton Oilers.

A person with knowledge of the deal said Thursday that Kane has agreed to terms with the Oilers on a contract for the remainder of the season that comes with a $750,000 salary and $625,000 in bonuses. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the contract had not been announced.

Kane is expected to provide a boost for the Oilers, who who recently lost seven games in a row to fall out of playoff position in the Western Conference. But this was only possible after the NHL decided not to levy more discipline on the 30-year-old winger. A law firm hired to conduct the investigation concluded there was not sufficient evidence to conclude Kane “knowingly made misrepresentations regarding his COVID-19 status or test results in connection with his international travel.”

Earlier this month, the Sharks terminated the remainder of his $49 million, seven-year contract for violating virus protocol while in the American Hockey League. San Jose terminating the contract cost Kane about $22.9 million from the contract he signed in May 2018. The NHL Players’ Association filed a grievance on his behalf contesting the grounds of the termination.

The NHL in October suspended Kane 21 games for submitting a fake vaccine card. The Sharks put him on waivers to send him to the AHL, where the protocol violation occurred that led them to void the rest of his contract.

Despite those problems and going through three NHL organizations, there was plenty of interest in Kane, who is a two-time 30-goal scorer and has surpassed 20 in a season five other times. He had 2 goals and 27 assists for 49 points in 56 games last year with San Jose.

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FORMER VANCOUVER Canucks forward Jake Virtanen has been charged with sexual assault following an investigation. Vancouver police said Thursday that one count of sexual assault has been lodged against the 25-year-old stemming from an incident on Sept. 26, 2017, when Virtanen was playing for the Canucks.

Police launched an investigation in May 2021 after a 23-year-old woman filed a complaint. Virtanen was placed on leave by the Canucks after the allegation came to light and his contract was bought out the following month.

THURSDAY GAMES

LIGHTNING 3, DEVILS 2: Anthony Cirelli had the tiebreaking goal midway through the third after failing to score on a second-period penalty shot, and Tampa Bay beat visiting New Jersey.

PANTHERS 4, GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1: Sam Bennett scored two goals to lift Florida over Vegas in Sunrise, Florida.
Aleksander Barkov scored his 200th NHL goal and 500th NHL point, and had an assist, and Mason Marchment had an empty-net goal.

Spencer Knight made 24 saves for the Panthers, who improved to 22-3-0 at home.

KINGS 3, ISLANDERS 2: Andreas Athanasiou scored and assisted on Quinton Byfield’s first NHL goal in his return from a long injury layoff, Cal Peterson made 23 saves and won in New York.

Adrian Kempe had an empty-net goal.


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