The NHL is looking into claims San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane wagered on his own games after his wife, Anna, levied the accusations on Instagram earlier today.
In response to what appears to be a request from the NHL player to his wife to organize visitation with their daughter and to ask her to vacate a property, Anna took to Instagram claiming her husband suffers from a gambling addiction and that he bet on games in which he participated.
Drafted in 2009, the Canadian born player started his career with the Atlanta Thrashers, the franchise that later became the Winnipeg Jets. He was traded to San Jose in 2018. Anna’s social media posts don’t specify when her husband bet on games.
“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 said in one post.
She followed that up with “Can someone ask (NHL commissioner) Gary Bettman how they let a player gamble on his own games? Bet and win with bookies on his own games?”
There is some very serious accusations being made by Evander Kane’s wife saying that Evander is gambling on his own games #SJSharks pic.twitter.com/D63zufsdI1
— SJ Sharks Coverage (@SJSharksNewsIG) July 31, 2021
NHL, Sharks Respond
The NHL and the Sharks quickly issued statements following Anna’s Instragram posts.
The League was made aware this evening of a post on social media alleging that San Jose Sharks Player Evander Kane bet on NHL games,” according to a statement. “The integrity of our game is paramount and the League takes these allegations very seriously. We intend to conduct a full investigation and will have no further comment at this time.”
This isn’t Kane’s first run-in with gambling-related issues. Earlier this year, he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. At that time, court documents revealed he’s $26.8 million in debt and that he lost $1.5 million in the month leading up to the filing.
The bankruptcy filing came just days after a Florida bank sued Kane for $8.3 million after the player defaulted on a loan secured by his contract.
In May, he was hit with another $15 million suit after another bank made similar claims. All told, his bankruptcy filing indicates nearly 50 creditors are pursuing him despite his $7 million annual salary.
“The Sharks have been in contact today with the (NHL) about the serious allegations made against Evander Kane. We support a full and transparent investigation into the situation to maintain the integrity of the game and consistency with our team values,” according to a statement issued by the team.
In 2019, Kane was sued by the Cosmopolitan on the Las Vegas Strip over $500,000 in unpaid markers. But that litigation was dismissed the following year — presumably because he paid the tab.
If his wife’s allegations are proven accurate, Kane’s situation hearkens back to perhaps the most famous example of an athlete betting on games in which he participated — Pete Rose. The all-time hits leader in Major League Baseball (MLB) is banished from the game and the Hall of Fame because he bet on games in which he played and managed, though he denied that claim in his 2004 book.
It isn’t yet clear if Kane would face such harsh punishment if the accusations are true.
The NHL is the least wagered-on of the four major domestic leagues — NFL, NBA and MLB are the others — and the league is notoriously tight-fisted when it comes to injury information and goalie assignments, making life hard on sportsbook operators and bettors alike.
The league’s reputation for secrecy on those fronts would, however, highlight potential advantages for Kane, assuming it’s true that he wagered on games in which he played.