What Comes Next for Evander Kane’s Career?

Updated: Jul 28



In the 2020–'21 season, Evander Kane played 56 games, scored 22 goals, and had 27 assists. These were impressive numbers for a shortened season due to Covid–19. Kane has not played a single NHL game in the 2021–'22 season. Following various allegation from his ex-wife Anna, Kane did not report to training camp or participate in the opening weeks of the season. In October the NHL announced that Kane would be suspended 21 games for violating the NHL COVID Protocols.[1] Days before he was to return to the Sharks, the team assigned him to the AHL. San Jose assistant general manager Joe Will said the team explored all options and decided "the best thing at this time is for him to continue to play hockey and the best option for that right now is the [AHL].”[2] Kane was sent to the San Jose Barracuda where he only played 5 games with the team. He has not played in an AHL game since December 22, 2021, after he entered AHL Covid Protocol.


On January 8, 2022, the Sharks placed Kane on unconditional waivers with the intention of terminating his contract. Kane is considered an unrestricted free agent and can sign with any team. The Sharks stated that they informed Kane they were terminating his contract "for breach of his NHL standard player contract and for violation of the AHL COVID-19 protocols."[3] Since the allegation against Kane surfaced in August 2021, the Sharks have been trying to trade Kane and some of his teammates did not want him to return to the team. Kane is in the fourth season of a seven-year contract which he signed on May 24, 2018.

In response to Kane being placed on unconditional waivers the NHLPA stated that they would file grievances. On Monday January 10, 2022, the NHLPA filed a grievance on behalf of Kane following the termination of his contract.[4] The contract that Kane signed in 2018 was worth $49 million and paid him $7 million annually. Kane will forfeit the remaining $22.8 million of the deal.[5] The CBA lays out procedures for grievances and what can and cannot be done. Section 17.2-17.5 Initiation, Filing, Grievance Committee, Arbitration states: Only the NHL or the NHLPA may file grievances, as they're the only two groups who actually signed the CBA. Grievances have to be filed as timely as possible and absolutely have to be filed within 60 days of the event which caused the grievance or within 60 days of facts coming to light which create the grievance.[6] Since the Kane grievence is within 60 days of the event, the process will now be sorted about by the NHL and the NHLPA. The biggest issue now is that while Kane is in the grievance process he can sign with any team and then he would be under contract with two NHL team which is not allowed.

Kane and his agent have been silent on the recent developments of the veteran forward’s career. On Saturday Dan Milstein, Kane’s agent Tweeted: "The Sharks do not have sufficient grounds for taking this action."[7] Kane’s future with the NHL is shaky and the next few days will play a crucial role in the future of his hockey career.


Jessica Shaw is the Secretary of the New York Law School Sports Law Society. She can be reached on Twitter @JessicaShaw22.


[1] Ellis, Steven. “Evander Kane given 21-Game Suspension for Violating NHL's Covid-19 Protocol.” The Hockey News on Sports Illustrated, 18 Oct. 2021, https://www.si.com/hockey/news/evander-kane-given-21-game-suspension-for-violating-nhls-covid-19-protocol. [2] Gulitti, Tom. “Kane Placed on Waivers by Sharks with Intent to Terminate Contract.” NHL.com, 9 Jan. 2022, https://www.nhl.com/news/san-jose-sharks-place-evander-kane-on-unconditional-waivers-with-intent-to-terminate-contract/c-329595132. [3] Id. [4] Kaplan, Emily. “NHLPA Files Grievance after San Jose Sharks Terminate Evander Kane's Contract.” ESPN, 10 Jan. 2022, https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/33034735/nhlpa-file-grievance-san-jose-sharks-terminate-evander-kane-contract. [5] Id. [6]Collective Bargaining Agreement, The PA | NHLPA.com, www.nhlpa.com/the-pa/cba. [7] Kaplan, Emily. “NHLPA Files Grievance after San Jose Sharks Terminate Evander Kane's Contract.” ESPN, 10 Jan. 2022, https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/33034735/nhlpa-file-grievance-san-jose-sharks-terminate-evander-kane-contract.