The NHL has announced that San Jose Sharks’ forward Evander Kane will be suspended for three regular-season games for an Abuse of Officials penalty in the Sharks’ final preseason game.
During a game against the Vegas Golden Knights, Kane got into an altercation with the Knights’ Deryk Engelland, which escalated further when linesman Kiel Murchison intervened, pulling Kane down. Kane shoved the linesman and was ejected from the game.
Engelland cross-checked Kane in the third period, which started the altercation between the two players. After some shoving and slashing, it appears Kane’s stick inadvertently made contact with the linesman when he was attempting to slash Engelland. The linesman grabbed Kane, pulling him down onto the ice. After they regained their feet, Kane seems to have shoved the linesman away from him.
Engelland received a penalty for the cross-check and got 10-minutes for misconduct against Kane. Kane received a matching penalty for misconduct against Engelland–and an additional penalty for abuse of officials.
Darren Dreger said the official penalty was one that warrants a 10-game automatic suspension.
E. Kane’s abuse of an official penalty generally carries an automatic 10 game suspension. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will have to confirm and officially enforce the suspension. Unlikely to happen before tomorrow.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) September 30, 2019
Elliotte Friedman predicted on the Pinder and Steinberg podcast that he didn’t believe that it would come down to a 10-game suspension, but possibly a 3-game suspension, because it would qualify as a slightly different penalty altogether.
Here are the two most pertinent sections regarding abuse of officials from the the NHL rulebook that warrant automatic suspensions of varying lengths.
The ten-game option:
40.3 Automatic Suspension – Category II – Any player who deliberately applies physical force to an official in any manner (excluding actions as set out in Category I), which physical force is applied without intent to injure, or who spits on an official, shall be automatically suspended for not less than ten (10) games.
The three-game option:
40.4 Automatic Suspension – Category III – 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.
The NHL ultimately chose Rule 40.4.
Kane will forfeit $112,903.23 of salary per the CBA for the games missed. Those funds go toward the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Kane got into a fight with Valentin Zykov earlier in the game. The two teams meet again on Wednesday for their season opener.
Headline image: Sportsnet
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