San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane has been suspended without pay for the first three games of the regular season, the NHL announced on Tuesday. Kane had a physical altercation with an official in the team’s final preseason game on Sunday night against the Vegas Golden Knight. 

According to Rule 40.4, the Physical Abuse of Officials, any player who participates in any form of abuse of officials receives an automatic suspension for no less than three games.

From the rulebook:

“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.”

Kane, 28, was ejected from the game after shoving linesman Kiel Murchison. The referee was trying to break up an altercation between Kane and Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland. In an attempt to separate the two, Murchison knocked Kane on the ice. The forward was clearly not happy about how it played out, so he got up and appeared to shove the linesman in the chest. 

Kane commented on the ejection after the game and said he is treated differently than other players on the ice.

“I get kicked out of the game for getting jumped from behind by the referee. I’ve never seen a ref take five strides,” he said. “If you look at his face he’s getting all his power and he’s trying to drive me into the ice, which is what he did. That’s unbelievable.” 

Kane added that he did not think the situation was handled properly.

“Talk about abuse of an official? How about abuse of a player? It’s an absolute joke.” he said. “I was just skating up the ice, whistle went, minding my own business and next thing you know I get driven into the ice by one of the officials, for doing nothing. I wasn’t even engaged with one of their players. Explain that to me, how I get kicked out of the game for that? Baffling.”

With the suspension comes a loss of $112,903.23, which will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. The Sharks open their season without Kane on Wednesday night against the Golden Nights at T-Mobile Arena.

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