The NHL announced it is launching a full investigation into the conduct of San Jose Sharks star Evander Kane after his wife, Anna, made a series of Instagram posts alleging the 29-year-old has been gambling on his own games.
It's unclear if the league will make its findings public.
Screenshots of Anna Kane's posts began circulating on social media early Saturday evening, with the league's response coming hours later. San Jose put out its own statement immediately after the league's announcement.
"The Sharks have been in contact today with the [NHL] about the serious allegations made against Evander Kane," the team said. "We support a full and transparent investigation into the situation to maintain the integrity of the game and consistency with our team values.”
Kane's wife alleged her husband has a gambling addiction that has led to her being forced to sell their house and her wedding ring while Kane travels to Europe.
Anna Kane, who is pregnant with the couple's second child, called the situation a "living nightmare," adding that she is struggling to afford baby formula while Kane continues to take lavish trips overseas.
"How does the NHL let a compulsive gambling addict still play when he's obviously throwing games with bookies to win money?" Anna Kane wrote in one post that tagged the NHL's account. "Hmm, maybe someone needs to address this."
Neither the NHL nor the Sharks publicly offered support for Kane's family while the league investigates.
In 2019, Kane was sued by the The Cosmopolitan hotel and casino in Las Vegas for $500,000 it extended the winger in gambling markers during an earlier stay. Two years later, in January 2021, Kane filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after amassing $26.8 million in debt. He reportedly held just $10.2 million in assets after signing a seven-year, $49 million extension with the Sharks in 2018.
Athletes gambling on their own games has long been considered one of the more serious infractions in professional sports. MLB's all-time hits leader, Pete Rose, was infamously banned from baseball after league investigators discovered he'd been betting on games he managed for the Cincinnati Reds in 1989.
Despite a drop in goals per game, Kane posted the fourth-best offensive season of his 12-year career in 2020-21, netting 22 goals and 27 assists for 49 points. His plus/minus was also the third-best of his career last season at minus-one.
Yet the Sharks were one of the worst teams in the league, finishing the 56-game pandemic-shortened season with a record of 21-28-7. It's remains to be seen how the league will go about determining if Kane was trying to throw games or negatively impact his team's potential outcomes.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).