San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane has been handed a three-game suspension by the NHL after an altercation with officials during a pre-season game against the Vegas Golden Knights. The league cited abuse of officials as the primary reason for the suspension.
The incident occurred during the third period of the San Jose vs Vegas game at T-Mobile Arena on Sunday. Kane, visibly frustrated with a high-sticking penalty called against him, retaliated by slamming his stick against the glass and vehemently arguing with linesman Kiel Murchison. The situation escalated when Murchison attempted to escort Kane off the ice, leading to a physical altercation between the two.
Check out Kane getting ejected for “abuse of officials”:
Evander Kane gets ejected in his last preseason game for "abuse of officials." pic.twitter.com/OAKcqPWf2I
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) September 30, 2019
NHL Rule 40.4 states that “any player who deliberately applies physical force to an official in any manner, which physical force is applied without intent to injure, or who spits on an official, shall be automatically suspended for not less than three games.” The league determined that Kane’s actions were in violation of this rule and imposed the minimum penalty.
Kane took to Twitter to express his dissatisfaction with the suspension, stating, “I have always tried to be a team player and do what’s best for the Sharks. But it’s hard to sit back and accept this decision when I know in my heart that I did nothing wrong. I will continue to fight for my team and my reputation.”
San Jose Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer expressed his disappointment in the suspension but acknowledged that the team must respect the league’s decision. He noted, “Evander is an important part of our team, and losing him for three games is a significant blow. However, we must respect the league’s decision and support our players as they step up in his absence.”
This is not the first time Kane has faced disciplinary action from the NHL. In 2018, he was fined $5,000 for elbowing Washington Capitals defenseman Radko Gudas and has been involved in numerous on-ice altercations throughout his career.
The Sharks will have to adjust their lineup to account for Kane’s absence as they open the regular season on October 2 against the Vegas Golden Knights, the very team that sparked this controversial incident. Fans and players alike will be keeping a close eye on the tension between these two rivals as the season unfolds.