‘I made a mistake’: Hockey star promises to persist with counseling after copping whopping 21-game punishment for Covid rule break
San Jose Sharks have described themselves as "extremely disappointed" by a breach that has earned groveling Player of the Year Evander Kane one of the heaviest punishments handed out to an athlete for a Covid violation.
NHL star Kane, who is involved in a high-profile divorce with wife Deanna, voiced his sorrow after being suspended without pay for 21 games for breaking Covid protocol, keeping him out of action until the end of November.
The league said on September 22 that there was no evidence to support gambling claims first mooted by Kane's estranged wife, adding that two additional investigations into Kane had been opened.
A concurrent investigation into allegations of domestic abuse made against Kane by Deanna could not be substantiated, the NHL stated.
Statement from the San Jose Sharks. pic.twitter.com/P25XxpiJgH— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) October 18, 2021
Tired of his apologies. Actions speak louder than words. This individual is not equipped to play in this league. He should be banned for COVID incident. Hope the Sharks release home. Want more positive stories like Ecklund and Weatherby.— Kevin Trivedi (@TrivediKevin) October 19, 2021
"I would like to apologize to my teammates, the San Jose Sharks organization, and all Sharks fans for violating the NHL COVID protocols," the 30-year-old responded.
"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."
As a Sharks fan, I hope the organization does the right thing. If the League does not terminate his contract, I encourage the Sharks to, whatever the financial ramifications. I do not want to see this man play for my club or anywhere else.— Finwalker Coe (@FinCoe) October 18, 2021
Let's disregard the legal and league-wide precedents this would create.— Brandon Kelsey (@bkelsey6692) October 18, 2021
The Sharks, who will miss the player responsible for 49 points last season, said they were "encouraged by Evander's commitment to moving forward" but "extremely disappointed by his disregard for the health and safety protocols put in place".
Kane's suspension is thought to be the joint sixth-longest ever handed to an NHL player.
Los Angeles Kings star Slava Voynov earned arguably the toughest punishment awarded when he was suspended indefinitely after being arrested on domestic violence charges in 2014.
I wonder what the salary cap implications of cutting him loose might be.I just remember a whole thing yrs ago when the Kings weaseled out of a contract with a player charged w/ DV and it helped their salary cap. I’m just going to assume the Sharks are screwed.— RStone (@theonetrophysc) October 18, 2021
I like Kane, but his time in San Jose could be done. I would be surprised if he stays, but we won't know til the end of his suspension. Learn from this, Evander, and be a better person.— Michael A. Casey🏈🏑⚾🏀 (@mac80dirtybird) October 19, 2021
His team has replaced him with William Eklund, the seventh overall pick in this year's draft, and Jonathan Dahlen, a second-round pick for the Senators in 2016.
While the Sharks appear to have moved on while Kane is suspended, his long-term future in a locker room where he is widely reported to now be viewed with hostility is less certain.
Fans also gave a mixed reception to the news, with some suggesting that they would like to see Kane released from his seven-year contract, which has four seasons remaining.Also on rt.com NHL star left out of squad, could face 5yr jail term over claims he faked Covid ID – amid investigation into alleged abuse of wife