The lengthy list of athletes who squandered millions of dollars only to file for bankruptcy has a new member, San Jose Sharks left winger Evander Kane. Despite signing a seven-year, $49 million contract extension in 2018, Kane filed for Chapter 7 in the federal bankruptcy court in the California city of his team.
The filling detailed liabilities of $26.8 million and assets — largely three homes — of $10.2 million. And the filing included a note that warns he may not even play this year.
“Debtor may terminate his contract and he may opt out of the season, as allowed under current rules, because of health concerns given the recent birth of his first child,” the bankruptcy petition said. “Should he terminate his contract or opt out at a point in the season, Debtor will not receive his salary.”
The NHL opt-out deadline for the COVID-19-shortened season, which starts this week, was Dec. 24, and the bankruptcy petition is dated Jan. 9. Kane’s lawyer, Stephen Finestone, did not immediately reply for comment to clarify how Kane, who has been practicing with his team, could still opt out.
The complaint listed nine lawsuits, court actions, and administrative proceedings with lenders, six of which are active. The largest is with Centennial Bank, which filed a lawsuit last week against Kane and the Sharks seeking $8.3 million.
“The Team is complacent in the Borrower’s breach of the Security Agreement, and either refuses or is unwilling to directly deposit the Pledged Payments into the Designated Account as required under the Security Agreement,” Centennial charged in its complaint. The team declined to comment.
Athletes filing for bankruptcy is an unfortunate trend in professional sports. High-profile names include Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Michael Vick, Vince Young, Warren Sapp, Antoine Walker, Kenny Anderson, Lenny Dykstra; and in the NHL Darren McCarty, Jack Johnson and Bryan Trottier.
Many athletes are overwhelmed with newfound wealth, investing in businesses and funding friends and family. They quickly plow through their earnings (Kane in his petition lists his income as negative $91.131.13 a month).
It’s unclear how the 29-year-old Kane, who has earned $52.9 million in team pay during his 11-year career, according to capfriendly.com, lost his money, but there are a few clues in the petition. Last year, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas settled a lawsuit against Kane for unpaid gambling bills. According to the Chapter 7 petition, in the last 12 months, he lost $1.5 million gambling.
The petition also listed seven dependents, all as living with him: his 6-month-old daughter, his sister, 27, his uncle, 54, his mother, 55, another uncle, 59, his father, 60, and his grandmother, 77.
What could lead to $26.8 million of debt was not spelled out in the petition for Chapter 7, a process which protects individuals or companies from creditors and provides for liquidation of certain assets to pay debts. Kane listed 47 creditors, ranging from a host of individuals to banks like Centennial and Scotiabank, to his former agency Newport.
The petition also disclosed he has a claim against Sure Sports, the loan broker that arranged the Centennial credit. “Claims against Leon McKenzie and Sure Sports LLC related to business advice and obtaining loans for Debtor,” the petition noted, referring to the CEO of the loan broker. “This includes violation of the Florida Broker’s Act, Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practice, Fraud, Breach of Fiduciary Duty.”
Sure Sports is listed in the petition as having an American Arbitration Association proceeding against Kane, and as a creditor for $1.2 million. McKenzie did not reply for comment.
The petition also shows he is valuing at $1.88 million a counterclaim against Rachel Keuchele, a woman who in 2016 sued him alleging battery. The case still is live in Erie County Supreme Court in New York, and he countersued her in 2018.
In his note to the bankruptcy petition where he warned he might opt out, Kane painted a grim picture for his creditors of his earnings this year.
“A typical season includes 82 regular season games,” according to the document. “The current season has 56 games scheduled and Debtor understands that even if all scheduled games are played, his salary will be adjusted based upon the reduced number of games. To the extent some of the games do not go forward because of the pandemic (or any other reason), Debtor’s salary will be further reduced. Moreover, Debtor understands that under the current collective bargaining agreement between the players’ union and the owners, 20% of his salary will be withheld and will be released to the owners under the ‘profit sharing’ structure of the agreement due to the anticipated significant reduction in revenues across the league.”