The investigation, which was conducted by Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, in conjunction with NHL Security, was spurred by allegations in social media posts by Kane’s wife, Deanna. The couple recently entered divorce proceedings.
While the NHL considers this “specific matter closed,” the league says it reserves the right to investigate any new information related to gambling accusations. The league also said it has opened a new investigation into Kane for “unrelated allegations of potential wrongdoing that were brought to the league’s attention.” The league did not specify further on that matter.
Later Wednesday, the Sharks issued a statement regarding the new investigation, and also announced that Kane won’t participate in training camp until further notice.
“The Sharks are aware of additional allegations that are unrelated to the National Hockey League’s initial investigation of Evander Kane,” the team said. “We take the allegations very seriously and have been in communication with the NHL. The league will continue to have our full cooperation regarding the ongoing investigation.”
Earlier Wednesday, Front Office Sports reported that a domestic-violence restraining order application filed by Deanna Kane this week included allegations of sexual assault and domestic violence. Kane’s attorney wrote in a statement to Front Office Sports that “Evander denies ever abusing Ms. Kane or their daughter.”
According to the NHL, the investigation into the gambling accusations included a detailed review of social media, public data and court filings — from both Kane’s bankruptcy proceedings and his pending divorce proceedings. The investigation also included a review of sports betting data and analysis provided by Sportradar, as well as in-person and virtual interviews with members of the Sharks organization and Kane himself. Deanna Kane “refused to participate in the investigation,” according to the NHL.
In an interview with ESPN’s Linda Cohn last week, Kane categorically denied the accusations that he bet on or threw his own games, but admitted to having a gambling addiction that led to massive personal debt. Kane told Cohn he has sought professional help for his gambling addiction.
In a January bankruptcy filing, Evander Kane listed $1.5 million in gambling debts owed.
“The investigation uncovered no evidence to corroborate Ms. Kane’s accusations that Mr. Kane bet or otherwise participated in gambling on NHL games, and no evidence to corroborate the allegations that Mr. Kane ‘threw’ games or did not put forward his best effort to help the Sharks win games,” the NHL said in a statement. “To the contrary, the evidence raises doubts about the veracity of the allegations.”
The Sharks open training camp this week. Kane, 30, is entering the fourth year of a seven-year deal that pays him $7 million annually.
In his interview with Cohn, Kane addressed reports that teammates didn’t want him back. He said he “didn’t necessarily know or believe” there is friction with teammates to the point where the Sharks would part with him.
“I’ve heard rumors about me being traded,” Kane told Cohn. “Well, I have a [no-trade] list that they can only trade me to and I haven’t even been asked for it, so I’m not getting traded. And I would know about it first.”