Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane has struggled through a difficult season on the ice, but it appears as though his toughest battle will occur away from the rink.
According to CBC News, Kane is facing a civil lawsuit stemming from an alleged attack against a Vancouver man on Aug. 10, 2013.
The suit claims that Kane assaulted the man while he was heading home from work. The incident allegedly led to the accuser suffering a concussion as well as additional head, back, chest, rib, left leg and heel injuries.
It is also stated within the civil claim that the plaintiff has dealt with both physical and emotional distress stemming from the alleged attack.
The plaintiff's injuries have and will continue to cause him suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent physical disability, loss of earning capacity, past and future, and loss of housekeeping capacity, past and future. ... The plaintiff has suffered ongoing physical and emotional injuries, including injury to his feelings, dignity, pride, and self-respect in all aspects of his personal and vocational pursuits.
Kane spoke about the controversy around hime (via Darrin Bauming of TSN):
Kane asked why he may be a lightning rod: "I'm not the only, nor the first, nor the last. I don't think I consider myself a lightning rod...— Darrin Bauming (@DarrinBauming) April 3, 2014
Kane: "Many things have happened. I think that's just playing in the Canadian market. Every little thing becomes a big thing." #NHLJets— Darrin Bauming (@DarrinBauming) April 3, 2014
The 22-year-old Kane was the No. 4 overall selection in the 2009 NHL draft by the then Atlanta Thrashers. He enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2011-12 with 30 goals, but he has been unable to return to that level of play.
Kane posted a somewhat disappointing 33 points in 48 games in 2012-13 and he has followed that up with 38 points in 59 games so far this season.
Which should be a bigger concern for the Jets?
The Jets were expected to challenge for a playoff spot in the Western Conference this season, however, they trail the Dallas Stars by seven points for the final wild card position with just five games remaining.
While the Jets would probably like to focus on helping Kane return to form on the ice heading into next season, this lawsuit will certainly provide an unneeded distraction.
Kane is known for his physicality on the ice, but there has never been any indication of him being an off-ice problem child in the past.
This could very well be a misunderstanding that will ultimately be brushed under the rug, but it could just as easily turn into something huge.
Kane needs to figure out a way to separate his playing career from his personal life, or else it is entirely possible that he will never regain the elite form that he displayed a couple years ago.
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