While bankruptcy may be a stigma, it is not uncommon among athletes. This time it is Evander Kane, San Jose Sharks left winger.
The twenty-nine year old Canadian has filed for federal Chapter 7 bankruptcy in California despite making $3 million this season. Why then is this necessary given the nearly $53 million earned over the course of his NHL career.
His assets are reportedly in the range of $10 million (including properties such as his San Jose home and two in Vancouver), but he has nearly $27 million in liabilities.
Nonetheless unpaid loans, $250,000 in unpaid federal and state taxes, and nearly $80,000 in credit card charges loom large for the player.
Newport Sports Management, his former agency, is owed nearly $530,000. Kane is also involved in a nearly $1.3 million arbitration dispute with Sure Sports, a financial services firm. It had arranged an $8.3 million loan for Kane from Centennial Bank.
The bank is the major creditor in the bankruptcy. It alleges that Kane and the Sharks defaulted on business loans secured by a contract in 2018. In fact, a lawsuit is pending with Sharks to use Kane’s wages, but the team has not made a payment on the loans since October of 2019.
Of interest are Kane’s $1.5 million in gambling losses. At one time, the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas dropped a lawsuit against the NHL player, alleging the failure to repay $500,000 in casino markers. Kane is not known to repay debt or reach a settlement with the casino.
Many legal actions are plaguing Kane at this time going back to 2016. He has even filed a counterclaim against a woman alleging he attacked her in his Buffalo hotel room.
To play or not to play
In an attachment to his bankruptcy filing, Kane states he could elect to opt out of the NHL season “because of health concerns given the recent birth of his first child.” He is still in the lineup however and has been practicing with the Sharks..
Sharks Coach Bob Boughner told reporters he was “assured” that Kane would play the entire season.
“I don’t think we’re worried about a distraction. I won’t make a comment on any player’s personal situation, but I am assured that he will be here for the whole season….”
The Sharks will likely play their first eight games on the road due to California’s pandemic restrictions. Of note, because he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Kane’s creditors are at least temporarily prohibited from collecting on his debts.