SAN JOSE – The Sharks were silent on Wednesday about a possible return for Evander Kane, who could resume his NHL career soon after the league handed a suspension, according to a recent report.
According to Nick Kipreos of Sportsnet Radio in Toronto, the NHL is leaning toward suspending Kane for off-ice conduct. But, according to Kypreos, the Sharks will be free to play again after sitting a set number of forward games.
Kane has stayed away from the Sharks throughout training camp and is now in the regular season as the NHL conducted two investigations into the forward’s past behavior, including one centered around the possible use of a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.
The Sharks named Kane a non-roster player on Monday “until the NHL investigation is complete.”
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told this news organization this week that he expects Kane to be “soon” on a proposal about the league’s investigation.
The Sharks now have a roster of 22 players and play their first regular-season game at home on Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets.
As the Ken saga continued, the Sharks said they tried to tune out the chatter. Coach Bob Boffner has held meetings with small groups of players and talks with general manager Doug Wilson, but otherwise, he has tried to focus on what he can control.
“We’ve kept it as a little thing we can’t think of right now, and we don’t want any distractions,” Boffner said. “We had a lot of work to do and everything was so refreshing. That part of it took care of itself.
“We’re sitting here today, and no one knows, more or less, what’s going to happen. I think the guys are in a good place, though. They’ve done their job, they’ve worked hard, a good camp and let the rest take care of themselves.”
It seems like @NHL leaning towards suspending @SanJoseSharks Kane under supplementary discipline (18-18a of the CBA. After serving his scheduled games it is likely that he will be in the clear to resume his career. @ FAN590
— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) 12 October 2021
Kane will be disciplined under Section 18-A of the league and the NHL Players Association’s collective bargaining agreement relating to off-ice conduct.
The section states that whenever NHL Commissioner Gary Bateman determines that a player has violated an off-ice league rule, or is or is guilty of conduct “which is prejudicial to the welfare of the league or the game of hockey or his Against,” he can discipline the player in many ways.
This includes expelling or suspending a player for a fixed or indefinite period, canceling that player’s contract or imposing a fine. Although it is unclear how long the suspension could last, Sportsnet’s Elliot Friedman reported that the upcoming discipline from the NHL would not include the cancellation of his contract.
When asked whether Kane would have to regain the confidence of the Sharks if he was eligible to return after suspension, Captain Logan Couture said, “I’m not sure what’s going to happen, so I’m not going to comment. I don’t know what’s going to happen with this investigation, so I just leave it here.”
Kane is in his fourth year of seven years, having signed a $49 million contract in May 2018 with an average annual value of $7 million.
Kane was the Sharks’ leading scorer last season with 22 goals and 49 points in 56 games and would have occupied a spot inside the Sharks’ top-six forward group if he had been with the team.
Right now, the Sharks have Couture on the top row with wingers Jonathan Dahlen and Timo Meier, and Tomas Hertl Rudolfs is centering the second row with Balsers and rookie William Eklund.