Earlier this morning, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane would receive a hearing that for elbowing Winnipeg Jets’ defenseman Neal Pionk Friday. However, it didn’t take long for the DoPS to come to a decision, as they suspended Kane for three games for the incident.
The incident happened during the third period of Friday’s game between San Jose and Winnipeg. Pionk was in the corner and had just released the puck when Kane came up from behind him and slammed his elbow into Pionk’s head, knocking him to the ground (video here).
The suspension will put Kane into double digits for his career, which likely was a significant factor in why the league hit him with three games. The 28-year-old was actually dealing with the Department of Player Safety several times earlier this year. He was involved in another elbowing incident as he received a $5,000 fine after elbowing Washington’s Radko Gudas on Dec. 4. He was also suspended three games on Oct. 1 during a preseason game for making physical contact with an official. In previous years, he also received two games for boarding in 2014, one game for personal conduct in 2016, and one game for cross-checking in 2018.
The suspension doesn’t help a team that is trying to get past its problems. The team has already lost forward Tomas Hertl to a season-ending injury and the team then announced this morning that Erik Karlsson would miss the rest of the season due to a broken thumb. Three games without Kane won’t make things any easier. The forward has 21 goals and could reach 30 goals for a second straight season, one of the few bright spots this year in San Jose.