Kane placed on waivers by Sharks with intent to terminate contract

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Evander Kane was placed on unconditional waivers by the San Jose Sharks on Saturday with the intention of terminating his contract.

The Sharks said in a statement that they informed Kane they were terminating his contract “for breach of his NHL standard player contract and for violation of the AHL COVID-19 protocols.”

Kane is in the fourth season of a seven-year contract he signed May 24, 2018.

The 30-year-old forward cleared waivers and was assigned to San Jose of the American Hockey League on Nov. 29. He scored eight points (two goals, six assists) in five AHL games but has not played since entering AHL COVID-19 protocol Dec. 22.

The NHL Players’ Association said in a statement on its Twitter account, “We are aware of the San Jose Sharks’ stated intent to terminate Evander Kane’s contract. The NHLPA intends to challenge any such action by filing a grievance.”

Kane’s agent, Dan Milstein, tweeted, “We are aware of the Sharks’ decision to put Evander on waivers for contract termination. If he clears, we will file a grievance. The Sharks do not have sufficient grounds for taking this action.”

Kane has not played for the Sharks this season after being suspended by the NHL for 21 games on Oct. 18 for violating NHL COVID-19 protocol.

“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 Oct 18. “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.”

After Kane completed his suspension, San Jose assistant general manager Joe Will said the team explored all options and decided “the best thing at this time is for him to continue to play hockey and the best option for that right now is the [AHL].”

Will, who is running hockey operations for the Sharks while general manager Doug Wilson is on medical leave, said at the time that trading Kane was an option.

Asked if the Sharks placing Kane on waivers brings a sense of closure, coach Bob Boughner said, “I think we’ve done that a long time ago. I think we understood that the players that we’re going to have on our roster this year and the guys that we’re going to use and we’ve been good at keeping that focus. We’ve just been kind concentrating on winning hockey games and hopefully developing the young guys as they’re here. And just to keep that team culture and identity, and really unless you’re with us on our roster, then nothing else really is a concern of ours.”

As for whether he felt disappointment over the Kane situation, Boughner said, “For a head coach would you want maybe your best offensive player in the lineup? Of course. But I understand the situation. Am I disappointed for him personally? Yeah, it would be like that for anybody. For me it’s just business as usual. I can’t focus on it, I can’t dwell on it and [I] concentrate on what we have, not what we don’t have.”

Kane was the subject of two investigations prior to his suspension. The NHL announced Oct. 18 allegations of domestic abuse by Kane’s estranged wife, Deanna, could not be substantiated, after announcing Sept. 22 it found no evidence to support allegations he gambled on NHL games or tried to negatively impact Sharks games.

Selected by the Atlanta Thrashers with the No. 4 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, Kane has scored 506 points (264 goals, 242 assists) in 769 regular-season games with the Thrashers, Winnipeg Jets, Buffalo Sabres and Sharks, and 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in 29 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

San Jose (19-16-1) is tied for fourth with the Los Angeles Kings in the eight-team Pacific Division after a 3-2 overtime win at the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

NHL.com deputy managing editor Adam Kimelman contributed to this report

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