Updated: Jul 21
Evander Kane, once a prolific player for the Buffalo Sabres and the San Jose Sharks, is facing legal issues after his gambling issues forced him into bankruptcy, per the Edmonton Journal and other sources. The Sharks originally waived him, which meant he was placed on waivers for any team to claim him, and no team did. The Sharks sent him to their minor league affiliate. After a few months there, the Sharks outright released him after he violated the NHL’s COVID protocols for a second time this season. The Edmonton Oilers want to sign him, but he could be facing legal issues as he needs to cross the border from the United States into Canada.
Mr. Kane’s controversies and legal issues include assault and harassment, gambling debts and bankruptcy, NHL game betting, domestic violence, as well as multiple violations of NHL COVID-19 protocols. Mr. Kane was a prominent player with the Buffalo Sabres before they traded him to the San Jose Sharks. Going back to his issues with the NHL’s COVID protocols, the league suspended him for 21 games to start the 2021-2022 season for submitting a fake vaccination card. The straw that broke the camel’s back in San Jose was his subsequent transgression of crossing the border without proper medical clearance on December 29th, and this lead to his contract termination with the Sharks.
Now, the Edmonton Oilers expressed interest in Mr. Kane. They want another winger to complement their dynamic duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Oilers general manager Ken Holland believes Mr. Kane deserves a second chance in the National Hockey League, but this would be his third team should the Oilers decide to sign him. Also, Canada’s government is stricter about COVID than the United States. For example, the Canadian arenas either allow a partial crowd or no crowds at all where the majority of the arenas in the United States are allowing full capacity.
Regarding Mr. Holland’s statement about Evander Kane earning a second chance, one could argue his second chance came in Buffalo, and his third and fourth came in San Jose. This would be his fifth chance to prove he is not the gambler who blows all his money at parties and other events. His wife is demanding money from him, and he has shown that off the ice, he is a troublemaker. Although his on the ice skillset is fantastic, it is the off the ice character that is dragging him down from another NHL pursuing him. With his talents, another team would have grabbed him off waivers, but due to his character they did not. This is similar to the Antonio Brown saga in the NFL. Both athletes are great at their respective sports, but their off the field/ice personalities hinder their presence on a team and within a locker room.
Alex Patterson is a 3L at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. He played football for seventeen years as an offensive and defensive lineman. He graduated from Lindenwood University-Belleville in 2018 with a Bachelor's in Sports Management. He can be followed on Twitter @alpatt71.