San Jose Sharks star Evander Kane reiterated that he has never gambled on hockey and said he’s confident he’ll be exonerated by the NHL.
Kane made the comments in an interview with ESPN that aired Thursday.
Kane became the focus of a league investigation after his estranged wife, Anna Kane, took to social media on July 31 and accused him of “throwing games to win money.”
“Obviously [the accusations are] incredibly false. It’s unfortunate that transpired, and it’s unfortunate that those false allegations were made,” Kane told ESPN. “I understood the magnitude of them immediately. I know [they’re] not true. I know none of what she was saying was true. I was very confident, comfortable with knowing that I was going to be exonerated and am going to be exonerated of those allegations.”
Front Office Sports reported Sept. 8 that the NHL’s investigation into the allegations had stalled. To that point, outside investigators had been unable to interview Anna Kane, per the report. She filed for divorce in July.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN on Wednesday that he expects a resolution soon.
Kane confirmed in the interview that he had a gambling addiction and lost US$1.5-million over a 12-month span that led to him filing for bankruptcy this past January. Kane told ESPN he sought help for his addiction.
“When you have a problem, sometimes you can’t control your decision-making at that time,” Kane told ESPN. “I think that was an example of my problem getting the better of me. I had a gambling problem. And when you have a gambling problem, just like a drinking problem or a drug problem, sometimes you can’t control your actions.”
Kane, 30, is entering the fourth season of a seven-year, US$49-million deal.
He recorded 49 points (22 goals, 27 assists) in 56 games and an average of 20 minutes, 12 seconds of time on ice.
His career plus-minus rating is minus-67 in 769 games with the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets, Buffalo Sabres and Sharks. He has 264 goals and 242 assists (506 points) in 12 seasons.
Kane also addressed a report by The Athletic that his Sharks teammates didn’t want him back on the team.
“I think it’s easy to point the finger at me,” Kane said. “I think it’s easy to try to make me the scapegoat because of some of my personal issues that have played out in public and point to that. I think it’s an easy cop-out.
“At the same time, I don’t necessarily know or believe that’s true. When it comes to the media, I really take that with a grain of salt.”