San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane did not fix or gamble on NHL games, the league concluded. this week
The NHL said Wednesday it finished its investigation into those allegations, first made by Kane’s wife on social media.
What were Evander Kane betting allegations?
In late July, Anna Kane wrote in an Instagram story:
“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 address this.”
She added: “Can someone ask [commissioner] Gary Bettman how they let a player gamble on his own games? Bet and win with bookies on his own games?”
Evander Kane subsequently denied the allegations and said the two were going through a divorce.
Investigation finds no wrongdoing
The NHL backed Evander Kane after an “extensive investigation” by law firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler in conjunction with NHL Security.
Per the NHL, the investigation went through:
- Sports betting data and analysis provided by Sportradar
- In-person interviews with the Sharks and other NHL teams
- Social media and public data
- Court filings from the bankruptcy proceeding initiated by Mr. Kane in January 2021 and his pending divorce proceeding
The conclusion of NHL betting investigation?
“The investigation uncovered no evidence to corroborate Ms. Kane’s accusations that Mr. Kane bet or otherwise participated in gambling on NHL games,” the league said.
“There was no evidence to corroborate the allegations that Mr. Kane ‘threw’ games or did not put forward his best effort to help the Sharks win games. To the contrary, the evidence raises doubts about the veracity of the allegations.”
The NHL said it found two other incidents with potential wrongdoing from Kane, but it considered the gambling matter closed.
NHL and Sportradar
The NHL and Sportradar agreed a 10-year deal in June that made Radar the league’s official integrity partner and official league data provider. As part of that deal, the NHL also received options to buy up to 1.8% of Sportradar.
The Kane incident is why proponents have argued for legal sports betting for years. In short, the data is accessible and can easily highlight wrongdoing.
That said, the close business relationship between the NHL and its integrity provider also raised some conflict-of-interest questions.
“In the current NHL case, I have yet to see any independent analysis of betting volumes or line changes,” said Ryan Rodenberg, an associate professor of sports law analytics at Florida State University. “But perhaps such an analysis will be forthcoming.”