One Door Closes While Another Opens: In The Evander Kane Saga
Image via Fear The Fin
The NHL investigation surrounding Evander Kane's gambling has been closed, but new allegations by his ex-wife Anna Kane concerning abuse have not put the left winger out of the woods. A quick recap for everyone who has not been following the story. At the end of July, Kane and Anna went through a messy public divorce which led to Anna making serious allegations against Kane. The allegations accused Kane of gambling on and throwing his own games to win money. The NHL, as well as the Sharks, promised that these accusations would be investigated. Following these accusations, a federal bankruptcy judge allowed discovery to proceed in a lawsuit against Kane. The lawsuit was from 2018 and was brought by Hope Parker. Parker alleges that Kane backed out on a promise to pay her at least $2 million dollars if she aborted their pregnancy. Kane also claimed that Anna physically assaulted him and was granted a temporary restraining order.
The NHL has completed its investigation concerning the allegations that Kane was gambling and throwing his own games to win money. The investigation was conducted by Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, along with NHL Security. In a statement by the NHL the league stated that the investigation uncovered no evidence to confirm Annas accusations that Kane bet or participated in gambling on NHL games. Additionally, there was no evidence to corroborate the allegations that Kane threw games or did not put forth his best efforts with the Sharks. In regard to these accusation, the NHL considers this matter closed but will investigate any other new information pertaining to the gambling accusations.
While Kane has been cleared over the gambling allegations, new allegations from his ex-wife Anna have emerged as well as allegations of violating NHL Covid protocol. Currently there are limited details about Kane violating NHL COVID protocols. The NHL and NHLPA have released health and safety protocols for the 2021-22 season. As part of her divorce case in Santa Clara County, California, Anna filed a domestic violence restraining order. In the order Anna, alleged sexual assault and multiple instances of domestic violence. The NHL is aware of the new allegations and is thoroughly investigating the matter at this time. The San Jose Sharks released a statement and said that Kane and the team have agreed that will he not be participating in Sharks 2021 Training Camp until further notice.
Among the allegations in the filing, Anna claimed that Kane forced her to engage in sexual intercourse in March 2019 after a funeral for their daughter who was born premature. Anna also wrote that after going out with others players’ wives before a 2019 Sharks playoff game in Las Vegas, Evander smelled alcohol on her breath and verbally and physically assaulted her. Other allegations include Kane violently choking Anna while visiting his mother in Vancouver, the filing included pictures of bruises from the alleged incident. Evander Kane’s lawyer, Travis Krepelka, has responded to the allegations saying; “Evander denies ever abusing Ms. Kane or their daughter Kensington, whom he cherishes.”
It is unclear if Anna will press sexual assault charges against Kane. However, prosecutors do have the option to pursue charges even without Anna’s cooperation. Additionally, California no longer has any statute of limitations for felony sex offenses which means Kane could be prosecuted any time in the future if there is sufficient evidence of a crime. At this time, it is uncertain when the NHL’s new investigation will conclude and when Kane will be allowed back on the ice.
Jessica Shaw is the Secretary of the New York Law School Sports Law Society. She can be reached on Twitter @JessicaShaw22.
 Kaplan, Daniel. “Judge Rules Sharks' Evander KANE Must Face Discovery in Abortion-for-Pay Lawsuit.” The Athletic, Aug. 24, 2021, theathletic.com/news/judge-rules-sharks-evander-kane-must-face-discovery-in-abortion-for-pay-lawsuit/6eUxPR75fBSZ.  Kaplan, Emily. No evidence found that San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane bet on NHL games; League considers this 'specific matter closed'. ESPN. https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/32260083/no-evidence-found-san-jose-sharks-forward-evander-kane-bet-nhl-games-league-considers-specific-matter-closed.  Id.  https://media.nhl.com/site/asset/public/ext/2021-22/2021-22COVIDProtocol.pdf  Perez, A. J. Sharks star Evander Kane facing a new set of allegations. Front Office Sports., from https://frontofficesports.com/sharks-star-evander-kane-facing-a-new-set-of-allegations/.  Id.  Pashelka, C. & Salonga, R. Evander Kane's wife Anna alleges physical, sexual abuse in restraining order filing. The Mercury News. https://www.mercurynews.com/2021/09/22/evander-kanes-wife-anna-alleges-physical-sexual-abuse-in-reported-filing-for-restraining-order/.  Id.  Id.  Id.