Release of the investigation’s findings
The NHL has found zero evidence that San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane either placed bets on or attempted to throw games. The basis for the investigation was allegations made by the player’s estranged wife. In an Instagram post on July 31, Anna Kane labeled her husband as “a compulsive gambling addict” and claimed he had placed bets on NHL games and had been “obviously throwing games to win money.”
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP conducted the resulting investigation alongside NHL Security. On Wednesday, the day before the Sharks were set to return for the start of training camp, the NHL released the investigation’s findings. Canadian sports journalist Elliotte Friedman tweeted out a copy of the NHL statement:
The league stated that it now considers this case to be closed, but it retains the right to reopen the investigation if fresh information comes to light. In a statement, the San Jose Sharks said that the organization will continue cooperating with the NHL as part of a separate investigation and that Kane will not be participating in training camp until further notice.
The investigation included detailed reviews of public data, social media, court filings from the Kane’s pending divorce and bankruptcy proceedings, and sports betting analysis and data. Kane was also interviewed by the NHL and the Sharks regarding the matter, but his wife would not participate in the probe.
Investigators looked at bet monitoring reports and analyses from leading sports data collection and analysis firm Sportradar. The focus was on Sharks games in the latter part of the 2018-2019 season and the 2020-2021 season. This data review and interviews with people who are familiar with Kane’s pattern of play showed nothing suspicious.
the evidence raises doubts about the veracity of the allegations”
The investigation ultimately found no evidence to support Anna Kane’s allegations. The NHL statement said: “To the contrary, the evidence raises doubts about the veracity of the allegations. While Mr. Kane denied the accusations, our findings are not based on these denials but instead on other evidence uncovered during the investigation.”
Anna Kane did not just accuse her husband of illicit gambling activities. As part of a restraining order filing this week in Santa Clara County Family Court, she claimed that during their marriage, Mr. Kane sexually and physically abused her. The player’s attorney has denied these allegations, stating: “Evander denies ever abusing Ms. Kane or their daughter Kensington, whom he cherishes.”
The NHL is also looking into these allegations and will not be commenting on the matter until it finishes its investigation.
A dire situation
Evander Kane is 30 years old and is now three seasons into a seven-year, $49m contract with the San Jose Sharks. He filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in California in January after accumulating $26.8m in debt. As part of the filing, Kane noted that he incurred $1.5m in gambling debts with a casino and a bookie over a 12-month period. In May, Kane was sued by Professional Bank for $15m plus “punitive and exemplary damages” over an unpaid $1.5m loan.
In an interview last week with ESPN’s Linda Cohn, Kane denied the allegations made by his wife and stated that he was confident that the NHL investigation would find him to be innocent. Kane has admitted to having a gambling addiction and said that he has sought help for the matter. In November 2019, The Cosmopolitan casino in Las Vegas sued Kane for leaving the casino without making arrangements to settle his $500,000 in debt.