Evander Kane is officially back in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers and has already drawn ire for the controversial move.
Former NHLer and current broadcaster Jeff O’Neill shared his opinion on the player returning to the league considering the mountain of off-ice issues on his resume.
“I would try to repair – not his relationship with anybody else, but just himself,” O’Neill said recently on TSN1050. “Because if the guy’s a total idiot and a goof and a jerk, no matter what happens, everyone is going to hate his guts. And that’s one thing, but he’s got to try to fix himself, his relationship with his kid.”
Kane was left off the San Jose Sharks' opening day roster amidst allegations from his ex-wife Anna of sexual assault, domestic abuse, and gambling on his own games. The 30-year-old winger was also under scrutiny and was under investigation for submitting a fake vaccine card.
Before lacing up for his first game as an Oiler, Kane sat down with TSN’s Kayla Grey to discuss his return to the ice, and brought up O'Neill's comments.
“The other day I'm listening to a radio show my buddy sent me via text. It's Jeff O'Neill talking,” Kane said. “He said something about me in a negative way and then followed it up by saying 'he just needs to focus on having a better relationship with his daughter.' Infuriated would be an understatement when I heard that. Infuriated. Because you are literally making a judgment about my relationship with my daughter and trying to use that in a negative way to portray me? That's ridiculous. That's crossing the line. I wish Jeff played in the NHL right now. That's how mad I was.
“People will go that extra mile to include whatever they think is juicy enough to continue to paint me in such a negative, toxic, evil way. By making up and insinuating that I have a poor relationship with my daughter. What do you know about me and my daughter and our relationship? It's disgusting.”
Kane was in a custody battle for his daughter with his ex-wife last year, and said in the interview that he now has sole custody.
Kane will make his debut with the Oilers Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens.
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