San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane was suspended for 21 games without pay on Monday for violation of the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols.
The Associated Press reported earlier this month that Kane was being investigated about allegations that he submitted a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.
Using a fake vaccination card is illegal in the United States and Canada, and is against NHL rules.
“I would like to apologize to my teammates, the San Jose Sharks organization, and all Sharks fans for violating the NHL COVID protocols,” Kane said in a statement. “I made a mistake, one I sincerely regret and take responsibility for.
“During my suspension, I will continue to participate in counseling to help me make better decisions in the future. When my suspension is over, I plan to return to the ice with great effort, determination, and love for the game of hockey.”
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Said the Sharks in a statement: “While we are encouraged by Evander’s commitment to moving forward, we are extremely disappointed by his disregard for the health and safety protocols put in place by the NHL and the NHLPA. We will not be commenting further on Evander’s status prior to the conclusion of the NHL’s mandated suspension.”
The investigation was the third recent one involving Kane. His estranged wife, Anna, had accused him on social media of gambling on NHL games, and the league cleared him of that.
She also accused him of domestic abuse, and the league said Monday that those allegations could not be substantiated.
He had agreed to stay away from the team during that investigation.
The COVID-related suspension will keep him out of the lineup until Nov. 30 and cost him more than $1.6 million.
Kane had filed for bankruptcy in January, citing $27 million in debts. He’s in the fourth season of a seven-year, $49 million contract with the Sharks.
Contributing: Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Sharks’ Evander Kane suspended 21 games for COVID protocol violation