Yesterday, the San Jose Sharks left Evander Kane off their opening night roster, noting that he “is considered a non-roster player pending completion of the NHL’s investigation.” There was no clarity on how that affected the team’s cap situation, but CapFriendly reports today that Kane’s $7MM cap hit will not currently count against the Sharks. That leaves them with a little more than $8MM in total cap space going into the season.
The bigger question is how long will the Sharks be without Kane, and there could be an answer coming soon on that front. Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet tweets that the league is leaning toward suspending Kane under the CBA’s “Commissioner Discipline for Off-Ice Conduct” (article 18-A). A suspension like this is entirely determined by the league’s commissioner, in this case Gary Bettman, but does have an appeal process. Technically the article also states that a player’s contract can be canceled by the commissioner, though nothing has indicated that will be the case here. It reads:
18-A.2 Commissioner Authority to Impose Discipline for Off-Ice Conduct.
Whenever the Commissioner determines that a Player has violated a League Rule applicable to Players (other than Playing Rules subjecting the Player to potential Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct), or has been or is guilty of conduct (whether during or outside the playing season) that is detrimental to or against the welfare of the League or the game of hockey, he may discipline such Player in any or all of the following respects:
- (a) by expelling or suspending such Player for a definite or indefinite period;
- (b) by cancelling any SPC that such Player has with any Member Club; or
- (c) by imposing a fine on the Player not exceeding the maximum permissible fine under Section 18.7(b).
For the purpose of calculating compensation forfeited due to a suspension under this Article, the Player will forfeit all Paragraph 1 NHL Salary and Bonuses, but not Performance Bonuses, commencing on the effective date of the suspension through the completion of the last game or date of the suspension, inclusive of all intervening days.
David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period tweets that the investigation is ongoing and Kane is currently designated as a non-roster player. How long that designation stands for is unclear, just as the potential length of suspension is still unclear.
When the league announced that Kane had been cleared of the allegations of gambling on NHL games, it also included a note that he was being investigated for other potential wrongdoing. The official release has been changed several times, but now does not include any mention of the “allegation of inappropriate behavior potentially jeopardizing the health and safety of Club members” that it once listed.