Evander Kane’s flight to Canada reviewed by NHL

Evander Kane is once again under investigation by the NHL, which could lead to greater league discipline, hampering his ability to sign with a new team in the near future.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told league teams on Wednesday that he was reviewing the process by which Kane, the former San Jose Sharks forward, crossed the border from the United States into Canada. on December 29 less than 10 days after testing positive. for COVID-19.

In a memo sent to the league’s 32 general managers, Daly wrote that “the League has launched an independent investigation into the circumstances under which Mr. Kane traveled across the border over the festive period, and whether this trip was performed in accordance with applicable law in the United States and Canada.

the memo, obtained by dailyfaceoff.com, also said that while the league is not planning a lengthy investigation, the timing of its completion will largely depend on the cooperation of Kane and his agent, Dan Milstein, “as well as whether the facts can compel a disciplinary hearing before the Commissioner.”

Kane, while a member of the Sharks’ AHL affiliate Barracuda, tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 21 and entered into that league’s protocol, which at the time stated that individuals symptomatic were to self-isolate for 10 days after a positive test. If asymptomatic, a player may continue to be tested daily and would be subject to early release from isolation with two consecutive negative PCR tests.

The Canadian government says on its COVID travel site that people who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or who have tested positive for the coronavirus in the last 15 days cannot enter Canada by air on a public flight. These restrictions are also in place for Canadian citizens, including Kane.

Part of the reason the Sharks terminated what remained of Kane’s seven-year, $49 million contract was because they believed he had no medical clearance to fly and had violated AHL protocols. The NHL Players’ Association challenged that finding and filed a grievance on Kane’s behalf shortly after the Sharks terminated his contract on Sunday.

The NHL’s latest investigation into Kane could hamper his ability to sign with a new team as other clubs await league findings. Milstein did not immediately return an email seeking comment on whether that would prevent Kane from signing a new deal by this weekend, as hoped for earlier this week.

The Edmonton Oilers are believed to be among the teams with serious interest in Kane, who led the Sharks with 49 points in 56 games in 2020-21. Other teams would have been in the mix for Kane’s services, including the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers.

The possibility of Kane joining the Oilers remained a hot topic Wednesday in Edmonton, as coach Dave Tippett and star center Connor McDavid were both asked about the embattled free agent.

Oilers general manager Ken Holland said Tuesday he would be willing to give a player like Kane, who was suspended for 21 games near the start of the season, another chance for violating NHL COVID protocols. .

“I think both parties always do their due diligence,” Tippett said. “I know Ken and his team have talked about it. Ken mentioned to me (Tuesday) that they were looking into it. From what I’ve read, Evander is doing his due diligence on us as well, so it’s probably premature.

When asked if he thought Kane could disrupt the Oilers locker room, McDavid said, “I don’t think that’s a bridge we really need to cross until something is more official. For now, these are just speculations. ”

The NHL opened three investigations into Kane last year, including those involving allegations made by his estranged wife that involved him playing NHL games, as well as domestic violence and sexual assault.

The NHL would announce that it found no evidence to support Anna Kane’s allegations. However, in a separate investigation, the league found in October that Kane violated NHL COVID-19 protocols for submitting a fake vaccination card and handed him a 21-game suspension that ended in late November.

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