Evander Kane is making headlines in the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs. His 10 goals led all players this postseason. In Game 3 against the Oilers, he netted a hat trick as Edmonton blew past Calgary 4-1 to take a 2-1 series win.
But it hasn’t always been good PR when it comes to Kane.
The reason why the 30-year-old is currently playing on a one-year, $2.1 million deal with the Oilers is because the Sharks terminated his contract in January, following a laundry list of issues that Kane has had over the years.
The final straw was that Kane was suspended by the league for breaking the NHL COVID-19 protocol in October of 2021. Once his suspension was up, the Shark placed him on waivers and he was re-assigned to the AHL.
After five games with the San Jose Barracuda, it was announced he was placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract.
From gambling debts to an ugly divorce with his ex-wife to multiple investigations from the NHL, Kane’s career in the league has been a tumultuous one.
Here is a look at all the controversies surrounding Kane.
2016 Buffalo assault lawsuit
The legal issues outside of the rink date back to 2016 when Kane was in Buffalo playing with the Sabres. He was sued by Rachel Kuechle, who accused him of assaulting her.
According to her complaint, it alleged that Kane “inflicted a battery” on her in a hotel room.
“While in the hotel room, he inflicted a battery upon Kuechle. The physical battery was … violent and offensive in nature, causing Kuechle to suffer bodily injury including lacerations, extensive bleeding, requiring multiple surgeries, and blood transfusions and serious emotional trauma, all to her detriment.”
No charges were brought upon Kane despite a police investigation. This past April, Kane and Kuechle reached a settlement, but no details were provided by Kane’s attorney.
Filing for bankruptcy
In January of 2021, Kane filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in San Jose. The details of the debt came out to $26.8 million total, with $10.2 million coming in assets and $1.5 million in gambling debts.
It was just three years after he signed a seven-year, $49 million contract extension with the Sharks in 2018.
At the time of the filing, Kane had earned $52.9 million in team pay during his 11-year career in the NHL, according to CapFriendly.
As mentioned, a part of Kane’s bankruptcy was $1.5 million in gambling debts. It first started back in November of 2019 when he was sued by The Cosmopolitan casino in Las Vegas after he allegedly walked out on a $500,000 gambling debt. The casino dropped the case a year later.
In July of 2021, Kane’s ex-wife, Anna, claimed in an Instagram post that her ex-husband bet on Sharks games and threw games on purpose. At this point, it was reported that Kane liked to gamble and the NHL investigated the allegations.
Kane sat down with Linda Cohn for an episode of ESPN’s “Outside the Lines”, where he admitted to having a gambling problem but denied any of the allegations that he bet on his own games.
— Outside The Lines (@OTLonESPN) September 16, 2021
The league announced on September 22, 2021, that there was no evidence that Kane bet on games or tried to impact NHL contests on the ice in any way.
Domestic violence allegations
During their ongoing divorce process, Anna Kane had filed a restraining order against her soon-to-be ex-husband, with allegations of sexual assault and multiple alleged instances of domestic battery included.
Kane had received a temporary restraining order against Anna in August of 2021, claiming he was abused on four different occasions ranging from 2019 to 2021.
The NHL investigated the domestic abuse claims against Kane and announced on October 18, 2021, that the allegations of domestic abuse “could not be substantiated.”
Violations of NHL COVID-19 protocol
The same day the league issued its statement on the domestic abuse allegations, the NHL announced it was suspending Kane for violations of the league’s COVID-19 protocols.
It was previously reported that Kane had used a fake vaccination card.
“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. “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.”
In January, Kane was investigated yet again by the league, this time involving Kane traveling across the U.S.-Canada border.
On January 27, the league announced that an investigation done by Patterson Belknap Webb & Typer LLP could not find sufficient evidence to “conclusively find that Mr. Kane knowingly made misrepresentations regarding his COVID-19 status or test results in connection with his international travel.”