These are not usually the type of articles we want to write about or discuss on this website. We do not like to speculate on things that are not confirmed, and we try to include as many data-driven opinions as possible in our articles and analysis. However, recent events in the hockey world are just too important for us to ignore, and we will try to report all of the statements of this case from both Evander Kane and his ex-wife Anna. Throughout the article, you will see images of all released information pertaining to this case across various social media platforms. Let us begin by saying if the allegations we are about to discuss are proven true, we do not condone any of Evander Kane’s actions, as we are deeply saddened by what he has put his ex-wife through and wish that she gets any help she needs. On July 31st, some of the biggest and most disturbing news surrounding the game of hockey surfaced, as the NHL announced in a statement that they plan on investigating accusations made by San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane’s soon-to-be ex-wife Anna pertaining to Evander intentionally throwing NHL games for gambling purposes. The fixing of games unfortunately was not the worst allegation made by Anna Kane towards Evander, as she accused him of cheating on her while she was pregnant, neglecting her and their one-year old daughter, and having extreme gambling issues that affected their marriage and way of life. As we said before, we will include images of the actual statements made by Anna Kane, as they were on her Instagram story for anyone interested to read, the responses from Kane’s teammates in San Jose, and how these allegations not only impact our work here at hockeyfreeforall, but everyone’s work in the hockey analytics community as a whole if true.
This is not the first incident that has occurred involving Evander Kane during his hockey career (credit to nhlcollection on Instagram for the timeline and wording) . On April 3rd, 2014, Kane faced a lawsuit in Vancouver for an assault case which he claimed was self-defense. On July 1st, 2016, Kane was sued by a woman for an alleged physical attack, to which he pled not guilty. On May 24th, 2018, Kane and the San Jose Sharks agreed to terms on a seven-year, $49 million dollar contract ($7 million AAV). On November 2nd, 2018, Kane faced a $6 million dollar lawsuit as his ex-girlfriend at the time claimed he reneged on a $3 million dollar abortion payment. On October 1st, 2019, Kane was suspended from NHL play for physical abuse of an official, then was sued by a casino in Las Vegas for not paying a 500k debt the next month on November 4th, 2019. He was sued $8 million on January 9th, 2021, due to an unpaid debt, which led to him filing for Chapt.7 bankruptcy three days later on January 12th, 2021. Lastly, in May of 2021, Kane was sued $15 million by a lender for fraud. It’s also worth mentioning that Kane stated he was $26.8 million in total debt in May of 2021. According to CapFriendly.com, Kane’s estimated career earnings are about $56 million, meaning he somehow lost over $80 million. The gambling issues have been in the public eye for a while now, as a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal stated that Kane owed the Cosmopolitan Casino in Las Vegas for eight credits ranging in value from 20k to 100k. The report also stated that this money was taken out near the date of April 15th, 2019, which just so happened to be the time that the San Jose Sharks were facing the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. These gambling issues move to a whole different level of dangerous if the allegations of Anna Kane are true, which we will discuss next.
The above image to the far left is a picture that Anna Kane posted on her Instagram story. In it, we can clearly see letters sent to the Kane household from certain casinos, with the caption “So why would these random casinos send these to our house? Oh maybe cuz on off days he would drive or fly to casinos to gamble, try and count cards and hustle the casino. Have fun Mara he will prob scam your money to lose it. Since he has nothing.” Mara Teigen is a model who Anna is accusing Evander of cheating on her with. She is the Mara that Anna Kane is referring to in this post. This is one of the most important of Anna Kane’s released statements, as it further displays that Evander does indeed have gambling involvement. The above image second-to-left is another screenshot of Anna Kane’s Instagram story, as this one has a Casino Gambling for Dummies book front and center. Anna even goes further to say that Kane’s Sharks teammates gave him the book, implying that they knew of his issues as well. We will get to more information about Kane’s San Jose teammates later on in this article, but we feel it is important to know this piece of alleged information by Anna. She then went on to accuse Evander of not being a good father or man to their daughter Kensington, as well as more insight as to how she is feeling about the situation. The images related to this are also shown in the gallery above.
The above image is the most serious hockey related accusation that Anna Kane made, as she essentially asked the NHL and Commissioner Gary Bettman how it is acceptable for a player to gamble on his own games and win money with bookies. If true, the NHL is facing one of its biggest gambling induced game integrity scandals in its history if not the biggest. We mentioned at the beginning of this article that this affects everyone in the hockey analytics community including us at hockeyfreeforall, now we will explain how. If Evander Kane purposely threw games in the National Hockey League, the statistics we have used to build our databases, predictions, studies, or other various works on aren’t 100% legitimate or accurate as we once believe they were. Anna Kane also did not mention how long Evander had been allegedly throwing games, but, based on his history and timeline that we already discussed, we could infer if this even happened at all, it would’ve likely begun either before or during the 2018-19 NHL season. This could mean any data from the 2018-19 season, the 2019-20 season, and the 2020-21 season, is potentially at risk of being flawed. To put this into perspective, we have fourteen years of data in our collection, 21% is extremely at risk of being tampered with. Also, Evander Kane has been in the league for twelve of our fourteen years (85%), which means a significant portion of our database could potentially be affected if Kane has been doing this throughout his entire career. We’re immensity concerned with the validity of statistics from Kane’s organizations especially in our databases, as he was a member of the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise, the Buffalo Sabres, and now San Jose Sharks. If he actually was intentionally throwing games, then his teammates statistics would suffer, making them look worse than they really are in our models. On the flip side, it would make the opposition’s players look better than they really are, which over an eighty-two game season, is a significant issue. There’s also the concept of point shaving or managing a spread of a game, which could mean that Kane was trying harder some nights as opposed to others in order to win those specific bets, affecting his teammates and oppositions statistics in that instance as well.
The images above are Evander Kane’s response statement to Anna’s accusations (which we are not finished discussing by the way). In addition to stating that he never gambled on any hockey game of his career, Kane’s primary argument against Anna’s accusation pertaining to hockey was that he had the best individual year of his career. We wanted to look into that more to see if that could actually be proven and verified according to our work. Evander Kane played in all fifty-six games for the San Jose Sharks this season, in which he scored twenty-two goals and twenty-seven assists for forty-nine points. In a full eighty-two game season, he would’ve been on pace to eclipse the thirty goal mark for the third time in his career, and the thirty two goals he was on pace for would have been a career-high. The thirty-nine assists he was on pace to get in a full eighty-two game season would have also been a career-high, as his twenty-seven already set the mark this season regardless. Kane was on pace to score seventy-one points in eighty-two games (0.865 PPG) which would have been the best season of his career at thirty years of age. However, he has never been a particularly good player in terms of our metric, as he has only registered two individually positive AB seasons in his entire career (his rookie year with Atlanta/Winnipeg at +3.96 and his third season with Atlanta/Winnipeg at +7.9). His -1.42 score was actually one of the best on the San Jose Sharks this season, and was his best individual score recorded since 2018-19 when he registered a -3.87 score. This -1.42 score was actually the third highest score registered by Kane in his career behind his two positive scores we already discussed. Evander Kane is a -3.84 career AB player over a twelve-year sample and was a -3.56 Career AB player at the time San Jose signed him to the massive contract we previously discussed. This is a player we would’ve stayed away from regardless of the off-the-ice issues, and San Jose reportedly has failed to trade him this offseason due to these accusations in addition to his past history. However, for the purpose of confirming the line in Kane’s statement where he says that his 2020-21 season was the best of his career, we can statistically say that is correct. As for the rest of his statement, Kane continues to refute Anna’s accusations regarding him as a father, which you can also read in the gallery above.
Another element to this situation we really wanted to discuss in this article pertains to the handling of this situation by San Jose Sharks management. Its been reported by many sources that several key Sharks players do not want Kane to return for the 2021-22 season, and have even gone as far to say, “if he’s here I don’t want to be”. According to Kevin Kurz of the Athletic in his article Evander Kane’s relationship with Sharks teammates and the organization may be irreparable, Sharks players were going into GM Doug Wilson’s office all season saying Kane had to go. Wilson’s response was that “All teams have locker room issues” and obviously nothing was done. The quote in the earlier part of this paragraph was also referenced in Kurz’s article. A unanimous agent also told Kevin Kurz that “the Sharks ignored everything; team turned a blind eye”. These were the most important quotes in relation to our article here, but we encourage everyone reading this to go to the Athletic and read Kevin Kurz’s work. We believe the best possible solution for the San Jose Sharks now is a buyout of Evander Kane. The figures according to CapFriendly.com’s buyout calculator is discussed at the end of this paragraph. The penalty isn’t as steep as other contracts that were bought out this summer such as Minnesota’s Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, as it would actually save the Sharks money until the penalty would kick in at the beginning of the 2025-26 NHL season. The San Jose Sharks would save $5.166 million in 2021-22, $3.166 million in 2022-23, $4.166 million in 2023-24, and $2.166 million in 2024-25, makes it a very intriguing option for the team to rid themselves of Kane and his issues. If this is the route Wilson and his group would have a $1.833 million dollar buyout penalty assessed to their cap every season after 2025-26 until the conclusion of the 2028-29 season.
The last several images in the gallery above show Anna’s response to Evander’s statement. We wanted to include these because if these allegations are found to be true, we don’t believe Kane should ever have the opportunity to play in the NHL again. We would like to reiterate that if the allegations are true, we do not condone any of Evander Kane’s actions and that we wish Anna Kane get anything and everything she needs to raise her daughter and unborn son. There are enough accusations outside of the fixing of games that would be enough for Evander Kane to be released from the Sharks in our opinion if proven true. Like many other hockey fans, we anxiously await the result of the NHL’s investigation. More to come.