NHL News: Leafs Auston Matthews back at practice; and add COVID violation to Evander Kane probes

Latest NHL news, will Matthews be ready?

Auston Matthews practice
May 31, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) shoots the puck against Montreal Canadiens in game seven of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

A report from Elliotte Friedman earlier today says San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane is under investigation for violating the NHL’s COVID protocol rules.

This is also being added to another probe being conducted by the NHL for allegations levied against him by his estranged wife for abuse.

Kane did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the investigations. A representative for Kane’s attorney said there would be no comment. The NHL, NHLPA and San Jose Sharks also declined to comment.

Sportsnet

NHL News: Evander Kane probes continue

As Kane deals with these investigations, Friedman notes that there are no details to the COVID violation and there’s no timetable for when the probes will conclude.

The NHL recently concluded its investigation into Evander Kane’s gambling allegations. The probe determined that “no evidence” was found and the matter is now closed.

evander kane covid
Apr 24, 2021; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks left wing Evander Kane (9) shoots the puck against the Minnesota Wild during the second period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Kane has been cleared of gambling on hockey games, although new allegations had the San Jose Sharks release a statement indicating that in light of the latest probe, Kane will not be at training camp.

“The San Jose Sharks are aware of additional allegations that are unrelated to the National Hockey League’s investigation into Evander Kane,” it reads. “We take these allegations very seriously and have been in communication with the NHL.”

“The Sharks and Evander Kane have agreed that he will not be participating in the Sharks 2021 Training Camp until further notice.”

Auston Matthews back at practice

On August 14, the Maple Leafs announced Matthews had wrist surgery and that the operation was a success. However; the timetable on his return is six weeks. With the regular season set to begin Oct. 12, Matthews appears to be on schedule to play.

“He looked good to me out there in terms of how he was moving and I know he was excited to be back on the ice with some of his teammates,” head coach Sheldon Keefe said via NHL.com. “It’s another step in the process, I don’t know where it’s going to lead, but I think he’s going to stay on a similar type of plan for the remainder of this week.”

Matthews scored 41 goals in 52 games last season to capture the Maurice Richard Trophy (NHL goal leader). His 12 game-winning goals also were a league high, and he tied for fifth with 66 points.

“I’m feeling good,” Matthews told Tim and Friends recently. “I’ve got a couple more weeks until I get back to it. I’m shooting for the home-opener, the first game of the year. Hopefully fingers crossed, everything goes well and I’ll be ready by game one.”