San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane has received an automatic three-game suspension under Rule 40.4, Physical Abuse of Officials, the league announced Tuesday.
The suspension stems from Kane being ejected from the Sharks’ final preseason game against the Vegas Golden Knights for abuse of officials. The Sharks can appeal the suspension to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
Rule 40.4 Automatic Suspension – Category III reads as follows:
"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."
The incident occurred at the 12:51 mark of the third period when Kane became involved in an altercation with Golden Knights defenceman Deryk Engelland. Linesman Kiel Murchison separated the two players and knocked Kane to the ice in the process, as the two got up, Kane appeared to shove Murchison in the chest.
Kane picked up a total of 27 penalty minutes in the game, including a 10-minute penalty for abuse of officials and a 10-minute misconduct.
After the game, Kane said there is a difference in the way he is treated compared to other players on the ice when it comes to scrums and gave his side of the incident with the linesman.
"I get kicked out of the game for getting jumped from behind by the referee," Kane said. "I've never seen a ref take five strides. 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. Talk about abuse of an official? How about abuse of a player? It's an absolute joke.
"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."
Kane, who posted 30 goals and 56 points in 75 games last season, will be eligible to return from the suspension on Oct. 8 against the Predators in Nashville. He will forfeit $112,903.23 to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.