A former Buffalo Sabre has been suspended from the NHL without pay for submitting a falsified COVID-19 vaccination card. 

Forward Evander Kane, formerly played with the Buffalo Sabres 2015-2018, will not play with his current team, the San Jose Sharks, for at least 21 games, the National Hockey League decided on Monday. 

Kane will not be eligible to play until Nov. 30 at New Jersey. 

Since the suspension is without pay, Kane will lose approximately $1.68 million of his near $7 million salary for this NHL season, but that money doesn’t simply disappear. The money kept from Kane’s salary will be going to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund, which has existed for close to 80 years. The mission of the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund is to help former players and their families who are financially pressed, whether it be due to retirement, a career-ending injury, or really anything else you could imagine that might fit the bill. 

The choice to suspend Kane without pay stems directly from Section 18-A.2 of the NHL’s CBA, which stipulates that “players forfeit salary for every day they are unavailable after being disciplined for off-ice conduct.”

The San Jose Sharks released an official statement on Twitter

“We are extremely disappointed by his [Kane’s] disregard for the health and safety protocols put in place by the NHL and the NHLPA.”

Evander Kane responded to the suspension, and he apologized to his teammates, the San Jose Sharks organizations, and all of his fans. 

“I made a mistake,” Kane said in a statement.

“I made a mistake, one I sincerely regret and take responsibility for. During my suspension, I will continue to participate in counseling to help me make better decisions in the future.”

When Kane’s suspension is over, he plans to return to the ice “with great effort, determination, and love for the game of hockey.”

The use of a fake vaccination card is illegal in both the United States and Canada. It is unclear if Kane will face any further repercussions that extend beyond the NHL.

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