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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The San Jose Sharks have placed forward Evander Kane on unconditional waivers with the intent to terminate the remainder of his $49 million, seven-year contract.

The Sharks said Saturday that they made the move because Kane violated COVID-19 protocols in the AHL where he is currently playing for the Barracuda. The termination of the contract will cost Kane about $22.9 million remaining from the contract he signed in May 2018.

“We are aware of the Sharks’ decision to put Evander on waivers for contract termination,” said Kane’s agent, Dan Milstein. “If he clears, we will file a grievance. The Sharks do not have sufficient grounds for taking this action.”

The NHLPA issued a statement on Twittersaying the union also “intends to challenge any such action by filing a grievance.”

The move ends a months-long saga regarding Kane’s status with the Sharks. He faced accusations of gambling on games, purposely losing games he bet on, as well as sexual and physical abuse from estranged wife Anna over the summer.

The NHL investigated and found no evidence to support those allegations but did suspend Kane for 21 games for submitting a fake COVID-19 vaccination card. When the suspension was lifted at the end of November, the Sharks placed Kane on waivers and sent him to the AHL when he was unclaimed.

Kane had eight points in five games with San Jose Barracuda in the AHL before being placed in the AHL’s COVID-19 protocols on Dec. 22.

“I was just as surprised to hear as everybody else,” coach Bob Boughner said Saturday before the team’s game in Philadelphia. “Obviously, it’s a management decision. I say the same thing that we’ve been dealing with here for a long time when his name comes up, it’s not really a focus of this group. We’re focused with the guys we have moving forward.”

The 30-year-old Kane had 22 goals and 22 assists in 56 games last season for the Sharks. Kane also has played for the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise and Buffalo since being drafted by the Thrashers fourth overall in 2009.

“For a head coach, would you want maybe your best offensive player in the lineup? Of course,” Boughner said. “But I understand the situation. Am I disappointed for him personally? Yeah, it would be like that for anybody. For me, it’s just business as usual. I can’t focus on it. I can’t dwell on it. Concentrate on what we have, not what we don’t have.”

Kane has 264 goals and 242 assists in 769 career games.

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