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Sharks' Kane expects to be exonerated in gambling probe, downplays rifts with teammates

Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News on

Published in Hockey

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told Sportsnet on Thursday morning that he expects the league’s investigation into Kane to be completed before the start of the Sharks’ training camp next week.

In 2019, The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas sued Kane in regard to $500,000 in unpaid gambling debts. Court documents stated that Kane was extended eight credits of amounts between $20,000 and $100,000 on or about April 15. The Sharks played the Golden Knights in Game 3 of that series on April 14 and Game 4 on April 16.

The suit was dropped in April of last year.

“I gambled the night before a playoff game,” Kane said. “(I) wasn’t supposed to be doing it. Did it and obviously didn’t do very well.”

In January of this year, Kane filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy listing assets totaling just over $10.2 million and his liabilities at over $26.8 million. According to the petition, he lost $1.5 million due to gambling “at casino and via bookie (sports betting).”

Kane said in the ESPN interview that he’s no longer gambling, adding that he had sought help for his addiction. His gambling issue was something that the Sharks were helping him with, Wilson said earlier this year.

“It’s like a drinking problem or a drug problem: sometimes you can’t control your actions,” Kane said. “I think probably the worst thing that ever happened to me was winning big because you think you can do it again. When you’re an athlete, the competitive juices are flowing, and then when you lose, it bothers you and you want to go back and try to … anyways, you just keep digging deeper.

“But at the end of the day, it’s something that I went through and I’m looking forward to moving on from it.”

But in one of her Instagram posts earlier this summer, Anna Kane suggested that Kane’s gambling issues were ongoing, adding that “he wants to be able to gamble and live freely.

 

“Embarrassed in every way that things are public and I hope one day you realize that your GAMBLING is the problem. Not an ex-wife or anyone else.”

A report earlier this summer by The Athletic said several Sharks players had become fed up with Kane over the course of last season due to his overall lax attitude toward team rules, including being late for practices and games and the players’ dress code.

Kane led the Sharks last season with 49 points in 56 games.

Kane and former Sharks associate coach Rocky Thompson, according to the report, also nearly came to blows over a disagreement during a power-play meeting, and the perception among some players was that Kane could act without the worry of discipline from Wilson or coach Bob Boughner.

Kane wasn’t asked about the reported incident with Thompson or any other specific run-ins with teammates. Asked, though, what he wanted people to know about him, Kane said, “When you’re an athlete in a sport like I am … I’m in a white sport. I’m a black player. I have a big personality that maybe rubs people the wrong way, but it’s not meant to.

“When it comes to what people don’t know, I think, unfortunately, a lot of the issues I’ve had or the allegations that have been made about me are just completely not true. I’m not looking for people to feel sorry for me, that’s the last thing I need. I’m not looking for people to feel bad for me. I’m just asking to be treated fairly and judged accordingly.”

Whether some Sharks players and Kane can get past whatever tensions still exist is unclear. The team begins training camp in the middle of next week and assuming the NHL clears Kane, everybody will be back in the same environment again soon.

“I’m not going to sit here and pretend like there haven’t been things that come up, unfortunately, more than I would have liked. Some of it’s been public,” Kane said. “At the same time, it’s again it’s about how you deal with it. I can sit here and feel sorry for myself. I could sit here and buy into the outside noise, and I’m choosing not to do that and focus on what I can control. And for me, so far, that’s proven to be successful.”

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