The NHL has suspended San Jose Sharks Forward Evander Kane for 21 games without pay due to "an established violation of, and lack of compliance with, the NHL/NHLPA COVID-19 Protocol." As reported by ESPN, Kane's pay will be distributed to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund instead. Shortly after the suspension was handed down, the San Jose Sharks issued a statement regarding the matter.
"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," the San Jose Sharks stated.
"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."
This is Kane's sixth suspension since 2014. Over the years, he's been suspended for a number of in-game violations including elbowing and illegal checks. However, rumors and allegations swirling around Kane have only grown worse in recent years. Just last year, his wife, Anna Kane, accused him of betting on games and influencing play to benefit himself financially. Also, the NHL has been investigating allegations that he abused his wife. Most recently, the NHL looked into allegations that Kane submitted a fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine card. The league does not have a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for players, but vaccinated players have far fewer restrictions in regard to travel and off-the-ice activities. Kane has refuted allegations that he bet on games and abused his estranged wife. However, he did apologize for violating the league's COVID-19 protocols.
"I would like to apologize to my teammates, the San Jose Sharks organization, and all Sharks fans for violating the NHL COVID protocols," Kane said in a statement obtained by ESPN.
"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."
Kane missed training camp and has not played at all this season. He will be eligible to return to the San Jose Sharks on November 30.