Evander Kane details gambling problem, denies betting on his own games

Sharks forward Evander Kane recently opened up about his gambling issues while strongly denying recent accusations made by his estranged wife Anna. (Getty)

The Evander Kane summer saga continues and the latest installment is very public.

Kane, 30, appeared on ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” with Linda Cohn to discuss a multitude of topics, all centered around his off-ice issues and the accusations made by his estranged wife Anna.

"It's unfortunate that that transpired, it's unfortunate that those allegations — false allegations — were made," the San Jose Sharks forward said.

In July, the 30-year-old was accused by Anna of betting on his own hockey games and underperforming purposefully for financial benefit, leading to an NHL investigation, which is set to be wrapped up before the 2021-22 season begins.

"Obviously, when [the allegations] happened, I understood the magnitude of them immediately, not knowing what was going to happen next. But confident, because I know that's not true. I knew none of what she was saying was true," Kane told ESPN. "I was very confident, comfortable with where I was, knowing that I was gonna be exonerated and am going to be exonerated of those allegations."

Kane has suffered from an addiction to gambling for a number of years and his issues became quite public recently, as he filed for bankruptcy in January and listed $1.5 million in gambling debts. When asked by Cohn whether he still gambles or has gambled on an NHL game, Kane said he does not and has never.

"I had a gambling problem, and when you have a gambling problem — just like a drinking problem or a drug problem — sometimes you can't control your actions," said Kane.

"I think probably the worst thing that ever happened to me was winning big, because you think you can do it again. When you're an athlete, the competitive juices are flowing. And then when you lose, it bothers you even more and you want to go just keep digging a deeper hole. But at the end of the day, it's something that I went through and I'm looking forward to moving on from it."

If any NHL player has an issue with gambling, there is a player assistance program provided and a 24-hour hotline, allowing players to receive counselling on any issue.

As Kane is set to begin his 13th NHL season and fifth in San Jose, his name is still involved in trade rumours and reports of disgruntled Sharks players wanting him out.

"I think it's easy to point the finger at me. I think it's easy to try to make me the scapegoat because of some of my personal issues that are playing out in the public, and point to that," Kane said. "I think it's an easy cop-out. At the same time, I don't necessarily know or believe that that's true."

Through his NHL 769 games split between three organizations, Kane has scored 264 goals and 506 points.

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