While fans have enjoyed the tight checking, high scoring and intense battles we've seen so far in the NHL playoffs, some of the personal and hilarious chirps flying between players have stolen some of the headlines.
During Game 1 of the second round series between the Oilers and Flames, Calgary winger Matthew Tkachuk – known to be one of the premier pests in the NHL – seemed to utilize Kane’s reported money troubles as a way to get under his skin and add even more fuel to the intense Albertan rivalry.
Matt Tkachuk chirps Evander Kane about his bankruptcy. "You want some money?" pic.twitter.com/IMOjyzaziO
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) May 19, 2022
An expert lip reader is certainly not needed, as Tkachuk visibly asks Kane if he “wants some money,” all while making a little pay me gesture towards the distraught Oilers forward.
Tkachuk backed up his trash talk with an important goal to put his team up two right after leaving the penalty box following incidental roughing minors for him and Kane. Defenceman Oliver Kylington's wry smile during the celebration compounded Kane's losses.
In January 2021, Kane filed for bankruptcy after he accrued more than $26 million in debt. Prior to the filing, the established NHLer was sued by the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas for $500,000 in unpaid gambling debts, despite Kane having a reported excess of $50 million in career earnings at that point.
After his money troubles became public, his now-estranged wife Anna made a series of allegations that Kane bet on his own hockey games and got enough attention for the league to do an independent investigation regarding the matter. And while not money-related, the only reason he is currently playing in Edmonton is the due to fact that he was dealt a 21-game team suspension by the San Jose Sharks for submitting a fake vaccine card at the start of the season, among his lengthy list of controversies throughout his hockey career, and had his contract terminated. He signed with the Oilers on a one-year deal mid-season and the rest is now history.
While the Battle of Alberta was going to have its moments of on-ice drama, having the real-world narratives seep into the playoff series is going to make the next few games even more like an athletic soap opera.
The two teams will face each other again on Friday night in Calgary after the home team earned a thrilling 9-6 win in Game 1.
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