The National Hockey League has handed a 21-game unpaid suspension to Evander Kane of the San Jose Sharks after an investigation into whether he submitted a fraudulent Covid-19 vaccination card, according to Front Office Sports and ESPN, which cited unnamed sources.
The NHL found “an established violation of, and lack of compliance with, the NHL/NHLPA COVID-19 Protocol,” according to the reports. The NHLPA is the league’s players’ association.
The NHL’s protocol, like those of many other sports leagues, requires players to be vaccinated against Covid-19 unless they have a medical or religious reason to be excluded from the mandate.
The league also announced that its concurrent investigation into domestic abuse allegations against Kane made by his estranged wife could not be substantiated.
Kane issued a statement through the NHL Players’ Association.
“I would like to apologize to my teammates, the San Jose Sharks organization, and all Sharks fans for violating the NHL COVID protocols,” Kane said. “I made a mistake, one I sincerely regret and take responsibility for.”
“During my suspension, I will continue to participate in counseling to help me make better decisions in the future,” Kane said. “When my suspension is over, I plan to return to the ice with great effort, determination, and love for the game of hockey.”
Kane’s suspension will keep him off the ice until at least November 30, during which time he will miss more than a quarter of the NHL’s 82-game season.
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