Evander Kane's suspension shows NHL needs more consistency on safety

Evander Kane's suspension shows NHL needs more consistency on safety

As the saying goes: "Video doesn’t lie," which is among several reasons why Evander Kane likely still is fuming regarding the three-game suspension he received Saturday.

Almost exactly one year prior, the Sharks forward suffered a similar headshot from Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara.

Not only did the hit go unpenalized, there was no hearing and no corresponding discipline. Kane missed the next several games due to injury
It begs the question: What does the league’s Department of Player Safety see differently here? Both plays and hits do indicate that heads were similarly targeted. If Kane was guilty, then so was Chara and vice versa. And that’s just one of a dozen easy comparisons that come to mind.
This is not a piece suggesting the NHL has a vendetta against San Jose. It is a plea for the NHL to gain consistency in what it calls a penalty, a fine and a suspension.
Currently the league distributes video explanations of all suspendible plays, complete with narration and multiple replay angles. One huge way to increase transparency, would be to publicize similar documentation of plays and hits that were deemed not suspendible.
This would serve two main purposes. First, it publicly acknowledges that the league did actually review and audit a controversial action in question. Sometimes it feels like those who distribute the discipline only conveniently appear when they need or want to.  

[RELATED: Kane blasts 'ridiculous' NHL Player Safety discipline]
Secondly, it would help all of us gain a better understanding of what their standards are. At present, little is predictable. Players, coaches, broadcasters ... anyone involved with the games can trust what their eyes see, but not know exactly how the league will respond.
Until rules are consistently enforced with minimal wiggle room, players will continue to take their chances on calculated risks. And everyone else will be confused by a library of dangerous plays on social media, which don’t equally add up in suspensions.

Sharks' Logan Couture hopes Joe Thornton returns after coronavirus break

Sharks' Logan Couture hopes Joe Thornton returns after coronavirus break

The NHL’s indefinite suspension amid the coronavirus outbreak has impacted players, coaches, executives and fans in a major way.

Although the league has made no official announcements regarding the potential resumption of the 2019-20 season, every passing day makes just picking things back up and playing less and less likely.

For veteran players nearing the end of their careers, this could have been their final chance at a postseason run.

“It’s tough for Patty [Marleau] because he had a legit chance in Pittsburgh,” Sharks captain Logan Couture said in an interview with NBC Sports California’s Brodie Brazil. “I look at this selfishly for Jumbo, hoping that he does come back with us next year.

“You know it saves an extra 12 games on those legs and that body of wear and tear, I know he’s gonna get a little bit older, but I think saving some time on that body will help us if he does come back with the Sharks, which I know we’re all hoping that he does.”

[RELATED: Burns' 2017 OT winner should've given Sharks playoff spark]

Marleau was dealt from San Jose to the Penguins at the trade deadline of his 22nd NHL season, with Pittsburgh was right in the thick of the playoff chase. Marleau also was just eight games from moving into fourth all-time in career NHL games played, currently held by Ron Francis (1,731).

Thornton came back to the Sharks in September for his 22nd season, surpassing the 1,500 assist mark in his 1,619th NHL game.

If we don’t end up finishing the 2019-20 NHL season, hopefully Sharks fans and Couture get their wish and can have at least one more season of Jumbo skating out onto the ice at SAP Center.

Sharks' Evander Kane recounts favorite memories of San Jose tenure

Sharks' Evander Kane recounts favorite memories of San Jose tenure

In his time with the Sharks, winger Evander Kane has been a part of some special moments.

Kane has 65 goals through 156 games in San Jose, providing playoff glory as well as spending quite a bit of time in the penalty box.

When asked what his favorite experience has been during his time in Northern California, Kane didn’t need much time to think about it.

“Team moment, definitely last year, Game 7 against Vegas,” Kane told NBC Sports California’s Brodie Brazil. “That Game 7 against Vegas last year was something that anyone who watched that game or played that game will never forget, so that was pretty special.

“I’d say as an individual, probably scoring my first hat-trick that ended up being a four-goal game two weeks after getting traded to San Jose, that was pretty awesome.”

Talk about great memories for Sharks fans.

[RELATED: With 400th goal, Jumbo joined group of Hall of Famers]

NBC Sports California’s Marcus White was at SAP Center covering that epic playoff showdown between the Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights, and recently went into detail on some of the best easter eggs from the comeback.

Kane and the rest of his Sharks teammates now have quite a bit of time to reflect on positive memories, as the NHL season remains indefinitely suspended amid the coronavirus outbreak.