Column: NHL Responds Quickly to Kane’s Betting Allegations | national

Column: NHL Responds Quickly to Kane’s Betting Allegations |  national

One thing seems clear taking a look at social media surrounding San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane. He has some issues, and his wife says betting on your own team is one of them.

Anna Kane also said other things in an Instagram post over the weekend which also accused the hockey player of partying in Europe as the bank tended to their house and struggled to buy money. formula milk for their babies.

Awful, of course, if that’s true. But there are two sides to every story, and Kane responded by saying he and his wife were going through a contentious divorce and denied ever betting on a game he played – or any NHL game, for that matter. .

“I love hockey and would never do anything that is claimed,” Kane posted online.

It remains to be seen where the truth is. But the NHL was so alarmed by the allegations that the league immediately launched an investigation into them.

With reason. Any idea that the games are thrown away or compromised in some way or another because players bet on the game is a commissioner’s worst nightmare of any major sport.

But when you’re suddenly deep in sports betting like the NHL and other major leagues are, it’s hard to find the right moral position to occupy. What was once a sin is now a profit center embraced by sports leagues eager to make a few bucks by any means.

However, to launch games is to launch games. And it’s also on the list of allegations that Anna Kane delivered on Instagram.

“The integrity of our game is paramount and the League takes these allegations very seriously,” the NHL said in a statement.

That Kane was involved in gambling, if not in sports betting itself, was common knowledge before Anna Kane made her allegations on Instagram. Kane has been sued by a Las Vegas casino for unpaid gambling finance debt of $ 500,000 accumulated while the Sharks were playing in Las Vegas in 2019, and a bankruptcy filing in California earlier this year obtained by The Athletic indicated that ‘he had lost $ 1.5 million gambling from the previous year.

But there is gambling and then there is sports betting. For years the big sports leagues have treated them the same – but now that they’ve got their skin in the game, they’re careful to point out the differences.

Losing money at a craps table is not particularly worrying. Losing by betting on your own games is indeed another matter.

In another era, Paul Hornung and Alex Karros lost a year in the NFL because they had bet a few hundred dollars on football games. Their 1963 suspension was accompanied by a warning from Commissioner Pete Rozelle regarding the gambling curse.

“The sport has grown so quickly and won the approval of the American public so much that the only way to hurt it is through play,” said Rozelle.

Meanwhile, Pete Rose recently turned 80 and the man who will likely hold the record for major league hits forever remains ineligible for the Hall of Fame. Although Major League Baseball and its teams now have lucrative deals with various betting sites, Rose remains an outcast to do what the league is trying to get millions of sports fans to do now – bet on its games.

Rose’s ban should have been overturned years ago, but that’s a topic for another time. Rose has long paid her penalty, and baseball has long been making her point.

If players don’t think a game is booming, they will stop betting. If fans don’t think games are on the rise, they’ll stop watching.

Still, it would be terribly difficult for an individual player to pull off a game. Betting lines are constantly analyzed on both sides of the counter, and the amount of money needed to fix a game would be easily spotted long before a puck fell or a soccer ball was kicked.

It doesn’t mean it’s impossible, just terribly difficult. And that is why leagues have rules regarding players who bet on their own sports and their own teams, even though there is sports betting in the stadiums and arenas where they play.

So, yes, the NHL should be alarmed by Anna Kane’s claims. The league should investigate them and do so quickly.

Much has changed in recent years, with sports betting now part of the accepted sports fabric. The leagues are delicately balancing the extra income from sports betting deals with the possibility that something bad could happen because of them.

One thing that has not changed is the basic rule that players do not bet on their own sport, let alone their own games.


Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for the Associated Press. Write to him at [email protected] or

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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