The 12-year veteran’s wife, Anna Kane, reportedly used social media in July to allege that her husband was betting on Sharks games and “obviously throwing games to win money.” The NHL quickly launched an investigation, while Evander Kane shared a social media post at the time in which he denied the accusations.
“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,” he wrote then.
On Wednesday, the league said that an investigation conducted by a law firm in conjunction with NHL Security “uncovered no evidence to corroborate Ms. Kane’s accusations that Mr. Kane bet or otherwise participated in gambling on NHL games, and no evidence to corroborate the allegations that Mr. Kane ‘threw’ games or did not put forward his best effort to help the Sharks win games.”
Kane, entering his fifth year in San Jose after being traded from Buffalo midway through the 2017-18 season, signed a seven-year, $49 million contract with the Sharks in 2018. He filed for bankruptcy in January, claiming nearly $27 million in liabilities against $10 million in assets. Kane listed $1.5 million in gambling losses for 2020; during that year, a Las Vegas hotel dropped a lawsuit against him after alleging he failed to repay $500,000 in casino markers from one night of gambling in April 2019.
Noting that Anna Kane declined to participate in its investigation, the NHL said the probe “included a detailed review of social media, public data, and court filings from the bankruptcy proceeding initiated by Mr. Kane in January 2021 and his pending divorce proceeding; a review of sports betting data and analysis; and in person and virtual interviews of members of the Sharks organization and others, including Mr. Kane.”
“Our review of public and nonpublic documents relating to Mr. Kane,” the league added, “including data and analysis from a leading sports integrity service, and our interviews of those individuals most familiar with Mr. Kane’s on-ice performance over the past three seasons yielded no evidence to corroborate Ms. Kane’s allegations that her husband gambled on NHL games or ‘threw’ hockey games.”
In an interview aired last week by ESPN, Kane acknowledged that “obviously there were some bad decisions made by myself, financially.” He described his estranged wife’s allegations as “incredibly false” and flatly denied ever having bet on an NHL game or having worsened his performance to aid a wager made by someone else.
“Obviously, when [the allegations] happened, I understood the magnitude of them immediately, not knowing what was going to happen next. But confident, because I know that’s not true. I knew none of what she was saying was true,” Kane said to ESPN. “I was very confident, comfortable with where I was, knowing that I was going to be exonerated and am going to be exonerated of those allegations.”
Kane went on to admit he “had a problem” with gambling at certain previous points in his life. He said he had sought help, was no longer making bets and would not return to that lifestyle “so that gambling can’t continue to live with me.”
The Sharks begin their training camp Thursday, and their first regular season game is scheduled for Oct. 16 against the Winnipeg Jets.
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