Evander Kane: Reports of Sharks' locker room tension 'news to me'
Following his first practice as a member of the San Jose Sharks' AHL affiliate, Evander Kane addressed his part in a tumultuous summer that has put a temporary pause on his NHL career.
Kane ended last season leading the Sharks in scoring with 49 points in 56 games. However, he cleared waivers just a couple of months later and was assigned to the San Jose Barracuda after an offseason full of NHL investigations. The league ended up suspending Kane for 21 games for violating its COVID-19 protocol.
Reports also surfaced in August that Kane's teammates were frustrated by his behavior and didn't want him to return to the Sharks.
"I don't think you're going to have a group of people for ... 150, 160 days get along perfectly," he said Tuesday, according to NBC Sports. "I think there's been a big misconception of the entire team or multiple players. It's funny, I had my end of the year meeting last year, and it was nothing but positive, positive, positive, and how great I was with the young guys, how great of a season I had.
"But apparently something happened in the summer that I wasn't aware of. It was all new to me and news to me. It was interesting."
Kane added that he hasn't spoken to any of his Sharks teammates.
"I've been doing my own thing, getting myself prepared. Handling my business, as I'm sure they have," Kane said, according to The Athletic's Kevin Kurz.
The winger cleared the league's September investigation into allegations from his estranged wife, Anna, that he gambled on NHL games. The league later opened up two subsequent probes looking into domestic abuse accusations made by Anna and Kane's alleged use of a fake vaccination card.
"You'll have to refer to the NHL statement that they put out via the suspension," Kane said. "I served my time, I did my 21 games, now I'm back.
"I'm fully vaccinated, and that's all I have to say about it."
Kane also stayed tight-lipped about his plans for his future within the organization and league.
"I think we have a good plan in place. I'm not going to get into that too much. But I'm looking forward to it," he said.