The National Hockey League has announced the suspension of San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane for three games. He will miss the start of the regular including two games against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Clarification on E. Kane suspension. Automatic 3 games Sharks can appeal. At that point Bettman engages and considers reduction.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 1, 2019
Evander Kane Suspended
In the final preseason game between the Sharks and the Golden Knights, Kane was ejected from the game for abuse of an official. At the 12:51 mark of the third period, an altercation between Evander Kane and defenceman Deryk Engelland occurred. Linseman Kiel Murchison stepped in between the two players to make sure nothing else happened. As the players were skating away, Engelland crossed checked Kane in the side. Kane retaliated with a slash that appeared to catch Murchison. As Kane turned back up ice, Murchison stepped in, knocking Kane to the ice. When Kane attempted to skate away, he shoved the linesman in the chest.
Kane was assessed 10-minute misconduct and game misconduct for abuse of an official under rules 40.1 and 40.4. Therefore the NHL had no choice but to suspend him.
According to the NHL Rulebook:
40.1 Game Misconduct – Any player who deliberately applies physical force in any manner against an official, in any manner attempts to injure an official, physically demeans, or deliberately applies physical force to an official solely for the purpose of getting free of such an official during or immediately following an altercation shall receive a game misconduct penalty.
40.4 Automatic Suspension – Category III – Any player who, by his actions, physically demeans an official or physically threatens an official by (but not limited to) throwing a stick or any other piece of equipment or object at or in the general direction of an official, shooting the puck at or in the general direction of an official, spitting at or in the general direction of an official, or who deliberately applies physical force to an official solely for the purpose of getting free of such an official during or immediately following an altercation shall be suspended for not less than three (3) games.
The Golden Knights and Sharks have a history dating back to the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The final preseason game featured 114 penalty minutes. This will not be the last time these two teams face off against each other. As a matter of fact, the Sharks and Golden Knights will play three times in less than a week. The two teams open the NHL regular season with a home-and-home series.
Referees will have to be vigilant for any other incidents that occur on the ice between these two teams. As far as the Sharks go, they will be without one of their top goal scorers to start the season in a tough Western Conference. Getting behind the eight-ball early could be tough for the Sharks to make a recovery. However, the Sharks have the talent and a deep roster where other players will have to step up their performances.
Kane now has two strikes against him for abuse of an official. The next time an incident like this happens, the league could throw the book at him. Was the official in the wrong? Probably. The linesman could have just got in Kane’s way instead of putting his hands on him. However, under no circumstances should a player put their hands on an official.