San Francisco Chronicle

Sharks’ Kane posts on Twitter to deny betting allegation­s

- By Ross McKeon Ross McKeon covers the Sharks for the San Francisco Chronicle. Twitter: @rossmckeon

Evander Kane’s career could be in doubt if he’s found to have bet on hockey games as alleged on social media by the estranged wife of the San Jose Sharks’ forward.

The National Hockey League, with the support and cooperatio­n of the Sharks, has launched an investigat­ion into serious gambling claims posted Saturday by Anna Kane. Under terms of the collective bargaining agreement, the league has the power to fine, suspend or even void a contract based on the severity of office transgress­ions.

Kane, who turns 30 on Monday, took to social media Sunday to deny the allegation­s. Neither the NHL nor the Sharks had further comment Sunday.

“I have NEVER gambled/ bet on Hockey, NEVER gambled/bet on a Sharks game, NEVER gambled/bet on any of my games and NEVER thrown a hockey game,” Kane said in one of two statements posted on Twitter.

The league’s last gambling issue occurred in 2006 when thenPhoeni­x assistant coach Rick Tocchet was forced to take a twoyear leave of absence after pleading guilty to conspiracy and promoting gambling as part of a New Jerseybase­d gambling ring. Tocchet, whose 18year playing career ended in 2002, was allowed by the NHL to resume coaching in 2008.

Tocchet was sentenced to two years of probation in exchange for his plea. The gambling ring focused solely on football. Upon his return, Tocchet was ordered by Commission­er Gary Bettman to abstain from all forms of gambling.

Pro sports has little patience for those caught gambling on their sport. Pete Rose has a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball for betting on games when the alltime hits leader was managing the Cincinnati Reds. The NBA banned referee Tim Donaghy in 2007 for betting on games he officiated.

Kane was sued in November 2019 by the Cosmopolit­an hotel in Las Vegas seeking $500,000 in unpaid casino markers he accumulate­d during a April visit one night after a Sharks’ playoff loss against the Golden Knights. The suit was dropped in the spring of 2020 without confirmati­on if a settlement was reached out of court.

Kane claimed to have lost $1.5 million due to gambling “at casino and via bookie” as part of a January filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy listing $10.2 million in assets and more than $26.8 million in liabilitie­s. Litigation is ongoing.

The Sharks and Kane have had little to say about the office travails aside from general manager Doug Wilson commenting Kane “is getting guidance and support in the areas that he needs.”

The NHL Players’ Associatio­n and the league conduct annual seminars with each team to reinforce dos and don’ts, and certainly gambling is a topic. And each team is assigned at least one NHL security representa­tive — someone usually involved in local law enforcemen­t — to keep tabs on players’ interactio­ns.

Kane’s wife, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, filed for divorce two weeks before Saturday’s posting. She also accused Kane of abandoning their 1yearold daughter for whom she’s allegedly had to sell her wedding ring to meet expenses and “buy my daughter baby formula.” The couple’s South Bay home is in the middle of foreclosur­e.

Kane has four years left on a $49 million contract extension signed less than three months after the Sharks acquired the Vancouver native from Buffalo. Kane has enjoyed success with the Sharks, scoring 30, 26 and 22 goals the past three seasons. He led San Jose in goals and points (49) last season and has 264 goals and 506 points in 769 games over 12 NHL seasons.

“I have NEVER gambled/bet on Hockey.”

Evander Kane, Sharks forward, in a statement posted on Twitter

 ?? Ezra Shaw / Getty Images ?? Evander Kane (center) led the Sharks in goals (22) and points (49) last season and has four years remaining on his contract.
Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Evander Kane (center) led the Sharks in goals (22) and points (49) last season and has four years remaining on his contract.

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