- San Jose Sharks’ forward Evander Kane has been suspended 21 games without pay for using a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.
- Previously this year, Kane faced allegations of domestic abuse and betting on NHL games. The league could find no evidence to validate these claims.
- Kane will be able to return prior to the Sharks’ November 30 game against the New Jersey Devils.
San Jose Sharks’ Evander Kane has been in the NHL for over a decade now. It’s hard to believe that in 10 years he’s gone from a player best known for arguably the most impressive one punch KO in NHL history to arguably the most reviled player in the league. There are so many rumors, allegations and claims about Kane’s questionable character that it would take a separate article just to cover them all. These include compulsive gambling, domestic abuse, betting on NHL games involving his teams and being an all around jerk. With the exception of the ‘being a jerk’ part the NHL has not found any evidence to validate these accusations. Amazingly, all of the aforementioned allegations have taken place within the past year.
Kane isn’t the sort of guy to ‘learn from his mistakes’ to become a better person going forward. That’s evident in his most recent misstep. Instead of trying to ‘clean up his act’, he instead doubled down on his personal sleaze and after skating on the more serious charges against them he’s been busted for an infraction so downright stupid–yet typically self absorbed–it’s almost hard to believe. Earlier today, Kane was suspended for 21 games without pay for what has been euphemistically termed an ‘established violation of the NHL/NHLPA COVID-19 protocol’. The violation in question? He tried to get over on the league and his team by using a fake COVID vaccination card. A couple of weeks ago, reports circulated that Kane was ‘being investigated’ for the fake vax card–which is not only a violation of the league’s COVID protocol but illegal in both the US and Canada. As a result, Kane was kept away from training camp and Sharks GM Doug Wilson sounded downright exasperated when asked about it:
“It’s not ideal, but there is an ongoing investigation from the NHL. The focus has to be on our group here, the guys that are here today and the things that we can control, but also respect the process of dealing with some very serious allegations and some things that need to be addressed with the right process.”
Kane’s forfeited pay will go towards the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund per the league’s collective bargaining agreement. As Kane is in the middle of a seven-year deal worth $49 million USD that’ll be a nice chunk of change. In response, Kane
released this bit of prattle drafted by a lawyer issued a heartfelt statement that he’d learn from this ‘mistake’:
“I would like to apologize to my teammates, the San Jose Sharks organization, and all Sharks fans for violating the NHL COVID protocols. I made a mistake, one I sincerely regret and take responsibility for. During my suspension, I will continue to participate in counseling to help me make better decisions in the future. When my suspension is over, I plan to return to the ice with great effort, determination, and love for the game of hockey.”
The Sharks also issued a statement and it sounds like they’ve just about had it with Kane:
“The NHL has advised our organization that Evander Kane has been suspended without pay for 21 games for an established violation of, and lack of compliance with, the NHL/NHLPA COVID-19 protocols. While we are encouraged by Evander’s commitment to moving forward, we are extremely disappointed by his disregard for the health and safety protocols put in place by the NHL and the NHLPA. We will not be commenting further on Evander’s status prior to the conclusion of the NHL’s mandated suspension.”
As bad as pro sports anti-vaxxers like Kyrie Irving might be, Kane is on another level. At least Irving isn’t trying to get over on anyone and is being truthful about his views–as irrational and paranoid as they might be. Kane not only lied to his team and the league while trying to get by with a lame subterfuge that even a conspiracy theorist Wal-Mart greeter would be too smart to try. In the process, he willingly put his teammates, coaches and other Sharks’ staffers–along with opponents–at risk. It’s not clear what he was thinking, but he definitely wasn’t being a ‘team player’. San Jose is likely trying to figure out how to get out from under the mistake they made by signing Kane. Should that happen, he might find himself out of the league.