San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane has been suspended three games after elbowing Winnipeg Jets defenceman Neal Pionk.
The incident took place during the third period of Friday’s game. San Jose won by a final score of 3-2.
Kane was issued a two-minute penalty for elbowing after his hit on Pionk.
“Kane does not keep his arm close to his chest to deliver a full body hit, but instead raises his arm up and away from his core and directly into Pionk’s head,” said the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. “It is also important to note Kane is in control of this hit at all times…what causes this hit to rise to the level of supplemental discipline is the dangerous extension of the elbow upward and outward, combined with the force of the hit.”
This is the fourth suspension of Kane’s career and the second of this season. He was tagged with a three-game suspension in October for “abuse of an official.”
The 28-year-old from Vancouver has been suspended for a total of nine games through his NHL career, forfeiting a total of $282,258.08 in the process.
Kane, who has 21 goals and a total of 37 points for the Sharks this season, will be eligible to return February 22 when his team faces off against the New York Rangers.
This is the latest round of not-so-great news for San Jose, who earlier today announced the loss of Erik Karlsson for the remainder of the season. They’re also without Tomas Hertl for the rest of the season.
Kane released a statement on Twitter in response to the suspension and it’s safe to say he does not approve of the process.
“The fact the NHL Department of Player Safety headed by George Parros continue to pick and choose, who and what they suspend is ridiculous,” Kane said. “No one person can tell you what is or isn’t a suspension in today’s game, it’s become a complete guess. There is a major lack of consistency with NHL Department of Player Safety…None of it makes any sense.”
Kane also prescribes an “outside third party” to make decisions for the Department of Player Safety, which is definitely not a bad idea.
Inconsistency has been and likely always will be an issue with any disciplinary process, but Kane’s implication of bias may be difficult to prove quantitatively. There will always be, to use his words, “incidents of the same nature” that will go unpunished and that irregularity has to be addressed in a significant, pragmatic way for the good of the game.
Photo credit: NHL.com