(UPDATE: Kane will not appeal the suspension.)
San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane received an automatic three-game suspension for violating Rule 40.4 (Physical Abuse of Officials) during Sunday’s preseason contest against the Vegas Golden Knights.
TSN’s Darren Dreger notes that the Sharks can appeal the suspension, which would push the decision to Gary Bettman.
Kane, 28, had been getting into it with Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland, only for linesman Kiel Murchison to get involved. Kane got knocked over, and then he appeared to shove Murchison while getting up, leading to an ejection, and ultimately this suspension.
[PHT PREDICTIONS: EAST / WEST / STANLEY CUP]
To put things mildly, Kane wasn’t happy with the ejection, and probably isn’t happy with the suspension. You can judge for yourself based on the video above this post’s headline.
“I get kicked out of the game for getting jumped from behind by a referee. I’ve never seen a ref take five strides,” Kane said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “If you look at his face, he’s getting all this power and he’s trying to drive me into the ice, which is what he did. That’s unbelievable.
”Talk about abuse of an official? How about abuse of a player? It’s an absolute joke.”
Here’s the verbiage of category three of the rule, which carries that three-game suspension:
“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.”
Somewhat amusingly, this suspension would keep Kane out of what would be some heated games, as he’d miss two games to start the season against the Golden Knights (at Vegas on Wednesday, in San Jose on Friday), and then a Saturday game against the Ducks in Anaheim.
No doubt about it, Kane has revved up the rivalry against the Golden Knights, a situation that’s only escalated after that controversial Game 7 from Round 1 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In particular, Kane’s clashed with Ryan Reaves, both physically and verbally.
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James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.