Sharks' Evander Kane Suspended for 21 Games for Violating NHL's COVID-19 Protocols

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVOctober 18, 2021

SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 12:  San Jose Sharks left wing Evander Kane (9) warms up before the San Jose Sharks game versus the Vegas Golden Knights on May 12, 2021, at SAP Center at San Jose in San Jose, CA. (Photo by Matt Cohen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Matt Cohen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NHL suspended San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane for 21 games because he violated its COVID-19 protocols.

The league also said it was unable to substantiate domestic abuse allegations levied against Kane by his estranged wife, Deanna.

NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL

The <a href="https://twitter.com/NHL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NHL</a> announced today that <a href="https://twitter.com/SanJoseSharks?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SanJoseSharks</a> forward Evander Kane has been suspended for 21 regular-season games. <a href="https://t.co/2gGoptPkdV">https://t.co/2gGoptPkdV</a> <a href="https://t.co/U8HiGHKXdm">pic.twitter.com/U8HiGHKXdm</a>

The NHL Players Association shared a statement from Kane:

"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."

Because of his suspension, Kane won't be eligible to play until Nov. 30, when the Sharks play the New Jersey Devils. San Jose opened its account Saturday with a 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets.

Over the summer, NHL conducted an investigation into Kane and cleared him of any wrongdoing after his wife said he had placed bets on Sharks games and intentionally threw games.

However, Front Office Sports' A.J. Perez reported Oct. 5 the 30-year-old was the subject of another inquiry in connection to the NHL's health and safety protocols. According to Perez, the league was looking into whether he submitted a fake vaccination card.

While players aren't required to get the COVID-19 vaccine, those who are unvaccinated are subject to tighter restrictions. Most notably, personnel aren't exempted from Canada's travel and quarantine guidelines.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said last week that only four players haven't been vaccinated.

Kane is in the fourth year of his seven-year, $49 million contract with the franchise. The Associated Press' Josh Dubow noted he'll have to forfeit around $1.7 million because of his unpaid suspension.


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