WASHINGTON — The NHL’s investigation into Evander Kane’s second alleged COVID violation is closing soon.
“No decision has been made at this point,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told San Jose Hockey Now earlier today, as to whether or not Kane would be disciplined.
However, a source told SJHN that there will be no further NHL discipline for this alleged COVID violation. This is in line with a report earlier today from The Fourth Period:
Believe there will not be any further discipline for Evander Kane from the NHL. He will be heading to Edmonton to sign with the Oilers. Announcement from league and team could come as early as today. Likely tomorrow. @TimCPeel20 was on it earlier.
— Irfaan Gaffar (@irfgaffar) January 27, 2022
The NHL followed SJHN’s source with a final investigation report: “The National Hockey League announced today that it has concluded its investigation into the circumstances pursuant to which Evander Kane travelled cross-border during the Holiday Period.
“The report prepared in connection with the investigation, which was conducted by Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, concluded that there was insufficient evidence to ‘conclusively find that Mr. Kane knowingly made misrepresentations regarding his COVID-19 status or test results in connection with his international travel.’
“As a result, the League has determined not to pursue any additional League-imposed discipline against Kane at the current time.”
At the beginning of the season, the league suspended Evander Kane for 21 games for a COVID violation — Kane reportedly submitted a fake vaccination card.
Whatever happens to Kane in terms of possible further discipline for this alleged second COVID violation, the crossing into Canada on late December while COVID-positive, it doesn’t appear to be a deterrent for the ex-San Jose Sharks star to sign with an NHL team soon.
All signs point to Kane joining the Edmonton Oilers, with Jason Gregor of The Daily Faceoff going so far as saying that Kane’s number has been picked:
Kane #91….Deal is so close a number has been decided.
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) January 27, 2022
Elliotte Friedman reports that a deal with Edmonton is done:
Kane deal in EDM is for $750K in salary and $625K in signing bonus, which means an approximate $2.1M cap hit. Full NMC.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 27, 2022
The Sharks haven’t played division rival Oilers yet this season:
If Evander Kane does become an Oiler in the immediate future:#SJSharks next home game is vs. Edmonton, and they still square off 4 more times.
2/14 vs. EDM
3/24 @ EDM
4/5 vs. EDM
4/28 @ EDM
— Brodie Brazil (@BrodieNBCS) January 27, 2022
So the Sharks could meet their not-so-popular teammate as soon as Valentine’s Day.
As for the San Jose Sharks organization’s termination of Evander Kane’s contract…
“Since the investigation was related to conduct unrelated to conduct Sharks relied on to terminate,” Daly told SJHN, “[it] should have no effect on the grievance.”
This conduct includes the allegation that Kane was supposed to return from Canada to the San Jose Barracuda on Dec. 31, but didn’t return until Jan. 6.
In other words, Evander Kane’s punishment — or potential lack thereof — for the alleged second COVID violation isn’t a deathblow for the San Jose Sharks’ attempt to terminate his contract. But certainly, it doesn’t hurt the NHLPA’s grievance against the Sharks either.
There’s no word yet on when that arbitration hearing will occur.
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