Sharks’ Kane Suspended Three Games for Elbowing Jets’ Pionk

The NHL Department of Player Safety has suspended San Jose Sharks’ forward Evander Kane three games for elbowing Winnipeg Jets’ defensman Neal Pionk.

Incident Occurred Friday

The play in question occurred in the third period of the Sharks’ 3-2 win at Bell MTS Place last night.

Kane, who had been repeatedly targeting and attempting to check Pionk through the course of the game, delivered a forceful elbow to Pionk’s head while the latter was turned and playing the puck in the corner.

Kane was assessed a two-minute elbowing minor on the play; Pionk was slow to get up, but remained in the game.

In a video explaining the suspension, the Department of Player Safety said:

“Kane does not keep his arm close to his chest to deliver a full body hit, but instead raises his arm up and away from his core and directly into Pionk’s head. It is also important to note Kane is in control of this hit at all times… what causes this hit to rise to the level of supplemental discipline is the dangerous extension of the elbow upward and outward, combined with the force of the hit.”

Kane is Well-Known to the Department of Player Safety

Kane is a repeat offender known for delivering cheap shots and playing right on or over the edge. This is the fourth suspension of his 703-game NHL career and second of 2019-20; he was barred for three games for physical abuse of an official in October. He has also been fined for elbowing in the past.

Evander Kane - Sharks
This latest incident is Kane’s fourth suspension of his career and second of the season. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Kane obviously didn’t agree with the DoPS decision. After his punishment was handed down this afternoon, he went on a Twitter tirade, accusing the DoPS of having a “major lack of consistency” and having “a completely flawed system in so many ways.”

Kane will be eligible to return on Feb. 22 for the Sharks’ away game against the New York Rangers.