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NHL community rallies around Evander Kane and family after loss

By Curtis Pashelka, Mercury News

SAN JOSE — Former Sabres forward Evander Kane, now a member of the San Jose Sharks, shared Thursday that he and his wife recently lost a child during pregnancy.

In a statement released via his Twitter account, Kane said, “I would like to thank everyone who has reached out to my wife and I during this extremely difficult time. Over the weekend, our daughter, Eva, at 26 weeks, passed away. As expecting parents, this past week has broken us.

“We’ve received a ton of support from family and friends, and we truly want to thank them. We would also like to thank our Sharks Family for their support, compassion, and allowing me to be with my family during this time.

“My family and I are heartbroken. Words cannot express how excited we were to welcome our baby girl into the world and watch her grow. Eva, you have been the absolute biggest blessing of our lives and we are all so grateful for all the joy you brought us in such a short amount of time.

“You gave us all, especially your mom and I, something to be incredibly excited about. And though we are devastated that you couldn’t stay with us longer, your mom and I will always cherish the time we had with your beautiful soul. Your spirit will give us strength, your love will give us comfort. We will love you forever.”

Kane, 27, had missed four games from March 1-9 with an injury, and did not travel with the team for its just-completed road trip through Minnesota and Winnipeg as the Sharks gave him time to be with his family. Kane was on the ice for Thursday’s morning skate with his Sharks teammates, but did not play against the Florida Panthers. He could play Saturday.

A tweet from the NHL’s official account said, “The National Hockey League family offers its deepest condolences to Evander Kane and his family.”

The NHL community rallied around Kane and his family.

Kane said Friday that he’s humbled by all the love he’s received in the aftermath of the tragedy.

“It’s actually been pretty surprising, to be honest. The amount of support and where it’s come from,” Kane told the Mercury News. “It’s been really nice. It’s definitely been helpful. Lots of different players around the league and management have reached out that I don’t even know. It really makes you appreciate how special the hockey community is. It was pretty humbling to have so many people reach out, especially people I’ve never really interacted with before.”

Kane thanked his coaches and teammates for helping him through the grieving process.

“The guys have been very supportive,” Kane said. “That’s made it easier, being able to step away and take my time. There’s so much experience in this room on and off the ice, so it’s been helpful.”

Former Bills receiver Marquise Goodwin also showed his support for Kane. Goodwin and his wife lost their twins during pregnancy in January.

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