San Jose Sharks' Evander Kane suspended 3 games after incident with referee

San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane was suspended for three games after getting into an altercation with a referee during a preseason game over the weekend, the NHL announced Tuesday.

The league said in a news release Kane was suspended for physical abuse of an official in the third period of Sunday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights. Kane will be forced to forfeit $112,903.23 under the collective bargaining agreement due to the suspension.

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He will miss the Sharks’ first two games against the Golden Knights and the third game against the Anaheim Ducks. He will be eligible to return Oct. 8 against the Nashville Predators.

Kane called his ejection an “absolute joke” and claimed he was “jumped from behind” by an official.

“I get kicked out of the game for getting jumped from behind by a referee. I've never seen a ref take five strides,” Kane said, according to ESPN. “If you look at his face, he's getting all this 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.”

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The entire situation started when Kane got into an altercation with Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland. The veteran appeared to cross-check Kane, who responded with a slash.

However, Kane’s slash appeared to have made contact with linesman Kiel Murchison. The official then grabbed Kane’s jersey, appearing to try and prevent any potential escalating incidents with Engelland.

Both players were given game misconducts. Kane was shouting at the referees from the bench.

“I was just skating up the ice,” Kane said. “Minding my own business, and next thing you know, I get driven into the ice by one of the officials. 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 said officials react a different way to him than others.

“It's funny...if you look at the way I get treated out there when it comes to the scrums, or when the other team is trying to do [something] to me, there's a massive difference compared to everybody else on the ice,” he said.

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Kane played 75 games for the Sharks' last season and tied for the league in game misconducts with three. He also led the league with 153 penalty minutes.