Even with the normal skepticism that applies to accusations between estranged spouses, the National Hockey League has a nightmare on its hands. Evander Kane has denied accusations made by his wife that he gambled on San Jose Sharks games and threw them to deal with gambling debts. What isn’t debatable are those gambling debts and the NHL’s apparent disinterest in them until Anna Kane made it a public issue:
San Jose Sharks star Evander Kane is under investigation by the National Hockey League after his wife, Anna, alleged on social media that he bet on his games, perhaps even tanking them.
“How does the NHL let a compulsive gambling addict still play when he’s obviously throwing games to win money? Hmm maybe someone needs to investigate this,” Anna Kane wrote in an Instagram story.
Bob Dorfman is the creative director of Baker Street Advertising and a sports marketing analyst.
“This is a 10,” Dorfman told KPIX. “Short of murder, this is about the worst thing a pro athlete can do, betting against your own team. If the allegations are true.”
Kane’s contract averages $7 million a year over seven years, and Kane’s in the contract’s third year. Despite that, Kane filed for bankruptcy in January, a little over a year after a Las Vegas casino sued to recoup a $500,000 debt. The bankruptcy including protection against $1.5 million in gambling debts, according to the KPIX report above. One would have thought that a major-league sports league would see that kind of gambling debt as a big red flag and begin an investigation at that point.
Now the NHL’s investigators probably wish they had. Anna Kane blasted her husband on Instagram Saturday for abandoning her and their child while the bank allegedly is foreclosing on their home. Mrs. Kane claims she can’t even afford formula for their baby, while the NHL star parties in Europe — and oh, by the way, throws games to deal with his degenerate gambling:
“So you leave July 8th. You do not call or text at all for 7 days. Then you inform me you are going to Europe for a vacation must be nice, but at the same time tell me our house is being taken by the bank,” she wrote.
“But do not come home to help ur [sic] pregnant wife pack or help her with anything at all,” she added, claiming Kane “never” calls their 1-year-old daughter “who walked around the house with her bunny saying ‘dada’ for a week looking for you.”
“I don’t know if there are even words to describe the kind of evil person that you are to abandon your wife who is pregnant with your son and your one year old daughter,” she wrote.
Again, divorces get ugly and accusations escalate as anger and passions do. It’s usually wise to wait until the end to see what sticks and what doesn’t. With that said, however, the wife has every reason to protect her husband’s income stream in a divorce, so going after his career either means she’s really hit the scorched-earth stage, or the allegations are true. Or both, potentially.
For his part, Kane denies ever gambling on hockey, let alone on his own team. Perhaps that’s the case, but if Kane is in so deep to casinos that he’s filing bankruptcy despite his $7 million a year salary, there’s no doubt that he’s been vulnerable to these kinds of pressures. The NHL needs to start answering some questions as well as asking them, such as why the bankruptcy and the lawsuit didn’t trigger an investigation at those times.