San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane again flatly denied that he wagered on NHL games – including his own to pay off gambling debts — and expects to be cleared of any wrongdoing in the league’s ongoing investigation.
In an interview with ESPN that aired Thursday, Kane also downplayed the reported rifts between himself and his Sharks teammates, saying he became a lightning rod for criticism because of the team’s on-ice struggles. Some players reportedly told Sharks general manager Doug Wilson that they no longer want Kane 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 are playing out in the 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 that’s true. So, when it comes to the media, I really take it with a grain of salt.”
The NHL launched an investigation almost immediately after accusations were made on social media earlier this summer by Kane’s estranged wife, Anna, that the winger gambled on league games and was “throwing games to win money” because of arrangements he made with bookies.
In July 31 Instagram posts, Anna Kane asked: “How does the NHL let a compulsive gambling addict still play when he’s obviously throwing games to win money? Hmm maybe someone needs to address this,” she wrote.
“Can someone ask (Commissioner) Gary Bettman how they can let a player gamble on his own games? Bet and win with bookies on his own games?”
Kane said he “definitely” had a problem with gambling at “certain points,” including in 2018 when gambled in a Las Vegas casino the night before a Sharks playoff game against the Vegas Golden Knights. But he said he never gambled on NHL games, intentionally tried to lose a game, or alter the way he played because of a bet he or anyone else had made.
“Obviously, incredibly false,” Evander Kane said. “It’s unfortunate that that transpired. It’s unfortunate that those allegations, false allegations, were made.
“Obviously, when they happened, I understood the magnitude of them immediately, not knowing what was going to happen next, but confident because I know that’s not true. I knew none of what she was saying was true, and I was very confident, comfortable with where I was, knowing that I was going to be exonerated and I’m going to be exonerated of allegations.”