San Jose Sharks left wing Evander Kane has publicly denied allegations made by his estranged wife, Anna, that he has gambled on Sharks games for his own gain.
"Unfortunately, I would like to address the completely FALSE accusations that my estranged wife and soon to be ex wife has made against me," the 29-year-old tweeted Sunday morning (Aug. 1). "Even against the advice of my legal time I feel strongly that the public and fans hear this directly from me. 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."
Read Kane's full statements below:
Anna Kane's original allegations were posted to her Instagram Story on Saturday (July 31):
Kane’s bankruptcy situation has been covered for some time. But this would add a whole new element to it if any of this is true.— Mark Scheig (@markscheig) July 31, 2021
The NHL announced a "full investigation" into her claims shortly afterward:
We intend to conduct a full investigation and will have no further comment at this time. (2/2)— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) July 31, 2021
And soon after Kane's vehement denial, Anna remained steadfast in her allegations and posted even more detailed and serious accusations to her Instagram Story:
More from Anna Kane, reacting to coverage of NHL’s gambling investigation into Evander. pic.twitter.com/OVLzjmzwSE— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) August 1, 2021
"Soon to be ex wife because I tried to stop you from gambling," she began. "Has anyone ever dealt with an Addict? When you were flying to different cities this year on OFF days with criminals to count cards at random casinos and told me the people you are gambling with would kill me and [daughter] Kensington if I told anyone."
"So I was supposed to let you gamble, cheat on me with prostitutes and be ok with that life," she added.
If the NHL uncovers any truth behind Anna's claims, the consequences figure to be swift and unflinching:
As I mentioned on @ESPNRadio this morning regarding Evander Kane, the NHL CBA doesn't offer wiggle room:— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) August 1, 2021
"Gambling on any NHL Game is prohibited"
Punishments can include everything from indefinite suspension to cancellation of a players' contract, as doled out by Bettman.
Kane was previously sued in November 2019 by a Las Vegas casino for failing to pay $500,000 in gambling debts:
A Las Vegas casino is suing SJ Sharks forward Evander Kane for allegedly not paying $500K in gambling debts.— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) November 6, 2019
Here is the casino’s lawsuit against Kane. (He has not yet responded to the claims.) pic.twitter.com/m3r68UdqFa
The case was dismissed in April 2020, as reported by The Las Vegas Review-Journal at the time.
Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner, who was teammates with Kane in Buffalo from 2015-18, cautioned against jumping to conclusions in a lengthy Twitter thread posted Sunday morning:
It’s funny how everything has become guilty until proven innocent and only listen to one side. We gone really fast trough something really hard for a human being to judge once again. I don’t know the facts and we will find out in due time. @evanderkane_9— Robin Lehner (@RobinLehner) August 1, 2021
When coming to marriage and divorces etc.. non of us knows what is going on yet we jump to conclusions while hearing from one side. I’ve been around evander while gambling many times and never once has there been any hockey involved.— Robin Lehner (@RobinLehner) August 1, 2021
Put my family trough a very hard time while not knowing being bipolar and treated it my way. Yet everyone was supportive. Gambling is a huge addiction and mental health problem as well and yet no support. It’s more proof that we all get treated different.— Robin Lehner (@RobinLehner) August 1, 2021
Hope with love and support evander will keep working on the problems regarding addiction to gambling witch he has said he is. I hope the best for the whole family. But him being attacked as a father and person is not fair and frankly non of anyone’s business.— Robin Lehner (@RobinLehner) August 1, 2021
Why did people understand how I was a terrible dad and husband while dealing with my health and people attack him for dealing with issues… That’s the question and I wonder why… I hope this gets cleared up as soon as possible for all involved. ❤️— Robin Lehner (@RobinLehner) August 1, 2021
San Jose originally acquired Kane through a trade with the Buffalo Sabres in February 2018, and then signed him to a seven-year contract that May. Per Spotrac, the contract is worth up to $49 million and won't place him in free agency until 2025.
On the ice, Kane notched 22 goals and 27 assists across 56 games for the 21-28 Sharks last season.