San Jose Sharks player Evander Kane has been suspended from playing in the first 21 games of the season, Sharks officials said Monday.
The star forward was suspended for allegedly violating COVID-19 protocols, but officials did not explain which one(s).
“The NHL has advised our organization that Evander Kane has been suspended without pay for 21 games for an established violation of, and lack of compliance with, the NHL/NHLPA COVID-19 Protocols,” the statement reads.
That means Kane won’t be able to hit the ice until the Sharks’ November 30 game against the New Jersey Devils – effectively missing the first quarter of the season.
The money forfeited in that period, which is about $1.68 million of his $7 million salary for the season, will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Kane released a statement on Monday apologizing to his teammates, the Sharks organization and all the fans for his unspecified violation.
“I made a mistake, one I sincerely regret and take responsibility for,” Kane said in a statement released by the NHLPA. “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.”
Sharks’ officials said they are “encouraged by Evander’s commitment to moving forward,” but “are extremely disappointed by his disregard for the health and safety protocols put in place by the NHL and the NHLPA.”
The news of his suspension comes the same day as the NHL’s concurrent investigation regarding domestic abuse allegations from Kane’s estranged wife, comes to an end.
The NHL said such claims “could not be substantiated.”
The new release continues, “There will be no further comment.”