Sharks' Kane suspended 21 games for violating COVID-19 protocol

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The NHL suspended Evander Kane for 21 regular-season games after he violated COVID-19 rules established by the league and NHLPA.

As a result, he'll be ineligible to play until Nov. 30.

In addition, the NHL didn't find evidence to support Kane's estranged wife Anna's accusations of domestic abuse, thereby ending the league's other investigation into the San Jose Sharks forward.

"I would like to apologize to my teammates, the San Jose Sharks organization, and all Sharks fans for violating the NHL COVID protocols," Kane said in a statement. "I made a mistake, one I sincerely regret and take responsibility for. During my suspension, I will continue to participate in counseling to help me make better decisions in the future. When my suspension is over, I plan to return to the ice with great effort, determination, and love for the game of hockey."​

Meanwhile, the Sharks lauded Kane for his pledge to better himself but disapproved of his actions.

"While we are encouraged by Evander’s commitment to moving forward, we are extremely disappointed by his disregard for the health and safety protocols put in place by the NHL and the NHLPA," the team said in its own statement.

The NHL reportedly looked into Kane's alleged use of a fake vaccination card while conducting a separate probe into Anna's claims. The league cleared him of gambling offenses in September after she said he bet on and threw his own games.

Last week, San Jose designated Kane as a non-roster player pending the league's findings.

The NHL/NHLPA COVID-19 protocol doesn't include specific punishments for violations. However, it indicates the penalties can consist of missed games, fines, and even forfeiture of draft picks.

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Sharks' Kane suspended 21 games for violating COVID-19 protocol
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