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Evander Kane’s Bankruptcy is a Cautionary Tale

Evander Kane is no stranger to controversial headlines in Manitoba. He played parts of four seasons with the Winnipeg Jets, during which he established himself as a promising talent and drew significant ire from the team’s rabid fanbase. His bombastic (by NHL standards) use of social media wasn’t appreciated by the small-market fans, and his large personality caused friction with teammates. In February 2015, he was scratched from a tilt with his hometown Canucks after a locker room altercation; days later, he was shipped to Buffalo in a two-team deal.

It was with mixed emotions that the Jets faithful watched Kane head south of the border. There was no love lost between the talented winger and Manitoba’s capital city, but star players are hard to come by for small market teams, particularly in Canada.

Six years later, Kane is a top-six forward for the San Jose Sharks and is once again a headline staple. In January, numerous outlets reported that he declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Northern District of California, despite amassing career earnings of nearly $53 million (USD). Documents reveal roughly $10 million in assets, almost $27 million in liabilities, and approximately $1.5 million in gambling debts over the past twelve months. It also states that he lives with seven dependants, all family members.

Whatever your feelings about Evander Kane the hockey player, teammate, and Jet, there should be no mixed emotions about these most recent headlines: Kane, like anyone experiencing financial hardships, deserves sympathy, understanding, and respect. After all, he is far from the only professional athlete to lose everything. It has been reported that roughly 60 per cent of NBA players go broke within five years of retirement, and an incredible 78 per cent of NFL players experience financial hardship within two years of stepping away from the game.

And it’s not just professional athletes who face challenges after experiencing massive windfalls. The National Endowment for Financial Education, an American institution focused on financial literacy, reports that about 70 per cent of lottery winners or people who receive sudden cash infusions go bankrupt within a few years.

The lesson, from Kane’s story and from other riches-to-rags experiences, is that no amount of money is guaranteed to last forever. Strong financial health requires restraint, diligence, expert advice, and the ability to say ‘No’ to people close to you. It’s easy to look at Evander Kane’s situation and cast judgement, but the statistics show that maintaining a large amount of money is just as difficult as earning it.

If you, like thousands of other Canadians, are experiencing financial difficulties, Caplan Debt Solutions is here to help. Reach out today to discuss our bankruptcy, consumer proposal, and credit counselling services. At Caplan Debt Solutions, we know that financial hardships can happen to anyone, and it is our goal to treat every client with the respect and dignity that they deserve.

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