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Sharks' Kane: Filing for bankruptcy was 'a big weight off my shoulders'

Brandon Magnus / National Hockey League / Getty

San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane filed for bankruptcy just three days before the start of the 2020-21 NHL season - but what could have been a distraction turned out to be quite the opposite.

"It's definitely been stressful. But it was a relief because I didn't have to try and hide it anymore. I didn't have to try to pretend. It was a big weight off my shoulders in a way," Kane told The Athletic's Ryan S. Clark in his first public comments about the details of his financial decision.

Kane reportedly had $26.8 million of debt at the time of his filing, and there were rumors his contract with the Sharks could have been voided.

"For years, I was dealing with all these things," Kane said. "It's having that constant stress. Everybody has stress. But once I made that decision (to file for bankruptcy), people think it is the start of something. Really, it's the end of this chapter of my life. I think that is where the big misconception is about this."

Kane said the birth of his child 10 months ago helped him mature and accept responsibility for his actions.

"Having my daughter was a huge, life-changing moment," he said. "That gets you to think about what you need to do. Not only as a man but as a father - to be able to make the best decisions for your family moving forward. For me, it was taking it on the chin. It was knowing I had to make a decision that was the best for me and my family that would also not be the most flattering publicly."

While the Sharks as a team have had a season to forget, Kane has enjoyed the best individual campaign of his career. He's recorded 22 goals and 27 assists in 55 games, and his 73-point pace over 82 games is a career high.

The 29-year-old said there may be a correlation between the airing of his financial situation and his strong play.

"You've kind of seen it with my on-ice play; that is maybe part of the motivation. It is wanting to show people that I've been dealing with so much for so long," Kane said.

He added: "To have a lot of that removed and off my plate, it allowed me to focus on hockey and finally actually enjoy coming to the rink and getting on the ice with my teammates and playing the game at a high level. It was enjoyable for the first time in a long time."

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