San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane has been handed a three-game suspension to start the new season.
The injunction is an automatic three-game suspension that comes from “abuse of the officials,” governed by NHL Rule 40.4. The league announced the ban Tuesday.
The incident took place during the Sharks’ preseason game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday.
In the third period, Kane got involved in an altercation of sorts with Deryk Engelland. As linesman Kiel Murchison came over to separate the two, he and Kane fell to the ice as part of the physical fracas. When they got up, Kane appeared to shove Murchison in the chest.
That is an immediate contravention of Rule 40.4, which states as follows:
“Any player who, by his actions, physically demeans an official or physically threatens an official by (but not limited to) throwing a stick or any other piece of equipment or object at or in the general direction of an official, shooting the puck at or in the general direction of an official, spitting at or in the general direction of an official, or who deliberately applies physical force to an official solely for the purpose of getting free of such an official during or immediately following an altercation shall be suspended for not less than three (3) games.”
For his part, Kane picked up 27 minutes in penalties in the game. That included a 10-minute misconduct and a 10-minute major for abuse of the official.
“I get kicked out of the game for getting jumped from behind by the referee,” Kane said. “I’ve never seen a ref take five strides. If you look at his face he’s getting all his power and he’s trying to drive me into the ice, which is what he did. That’s unbelievable. Talk about abuse of an official? How about abuse of a player? It’s an absolute joke.”
The shove is definitely the article of note here, as it is referenced as part of a player “deliberately applying physical force an official solely for the purpose of getting free…”
Kane and the Sharks can appeal the suspension to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Overall, this issue is the purview of Hockey Operations and not the Department of Player Safety.
Photo credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports