The Sharks gained a bit of clarity Monday when the NHL announced that forward Evander Kane has been suspended 21 games for violating COVID-19 protocols.
"The National Hockey League announced today that San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane has been suspended for 21 regular-season games, without pay, for an established violation of, and lack of compliance with, the NHL/NHLPA COVID-19 Protocol," the league wrote in a statement. "Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the forfeited pay goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. Kane will not be eligible to play prior to San Jose’s game on Nov. 30 (at NJD)."
The NHL also announced that its concurrent investigation into allegations of domestic abuse made against Kane by his estranged wife, Deanna, could not be substantiated. The league previously found no evidence that Kane gambled on NHL games, and considers both matters closed.
"I would like to apologize to my teammates, the San Jose Sharks organization, and all Sharks fans for violating the NHL COVID protocols. I made a mistake, one I sincerely regret and take responsibility for. 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."
The Sharks issued their own team statement:
"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.
"While we are encouraged by Evander’s commitment to moving forward, we are extremely disappointed by his disregard for the health and safety protocols put in place by the NHL and the NHLPA. We will not be commenting further on Evander’s status prior to the conclusion of the NHL’s mandated suspension."
Kane and the Sharks mutually agreed that he would not participate in training camp "until further notice," and he was not in the lineup for San Jose's season-opening 4-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. Now the Sharks know they'll be without their leading scorer from last season for at least the next 20 games.