The Kyrie Irving effect is spreading.
In the latest farce involving pro sports covid “loopholes”, the AP reports that the NHL has suspended San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane for 21 games for submitting a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.
The league announced the suspension without pay on Monday and said Kane will not be eligible to play until Nov. 30 at New Jersey. Kane will also forfeit about $1.68 million of his $7 million salary for this season with the money going to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
There was a silver lining: the league also announced that a concurrent investigation into allegations of sexual and physical abuse made against Kane by his estranged wife, Anna, could not be substantiated. Kane had previously been cleared by the NHL in an investigation into allegations made by Anna Kane that he bet on hockey games, including some against the Sharks.
But while Kane probably did not beat the crap out of his estranged wife, the league did determine that Kane violated the COVID-19 protocols. A person familiar with the investigation said earlier this month that the league was looking into allegations that Kane submitted a fake vaccination card.
Using a fake vaccination card is illegal in both the United States and Canada, as well as against NHL rules.
Commissioner Gary Bettman said last week that only four players on active rosters hadn’t been vaccinated, although one wonder what the real number is.
Kane had not been around the team since the start of training camp while these investigations were ongoing in an agreement between him and the team.
Kane, 30, is three seasons into a $49 million, seven-year contract. He’s with his third organization after being drafted by and debuting with Atlanta/Winnipeg and a stint in Buffalo. Last season, he had 22 goals and 27 assists in 56 games.