Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane has suffered his first hit of the upcoming hockey season -- a court order garnishing his wages for refusing to pay a pair of outstanding traffic tickets.
The Manitoba government took the unusual step of filing a Court of Queen's Bench motion in an attempt to recoup $650.80 in fines and costs from Kane, a budding NHL superstar who signed a six-year, $31.5-million contract earlier this summer.
Court documents obtained by the Free Press show Kane, 22, was charged under the Highway Traffic Act on June 4, 2012, for "using a hand-operated electronic device while driving a motor vehicle." But the $249.80 ticket went unpaid, leading Manitoba Public Insurance to place a hold on his licence along with a $40 surcharge.
Kane was stopped again by police last Oct. 18 and charged with driving without a valid licence under the HTA. The fine for that offence was $311.
The province appeared in court on their motion last Thursday and won a default judgment against Kane for all the outstanding monies, plus $50 in costs.
That means neither Kane nor a lawyer appeared on his behalf.
The garnishment order was made in the name of the Winnipeg Jets hockey club, according to court documents.
Typically, applications for garnishment are only made in cases where all attempts to contact the party and have them make payment have failed.
Scott Brown, the senior director of corporate communications for the Jets, told the Free Press Wednesday they first became aware of the court order earlier in the day.
"The issue has been dealt with. From my understanding it's paid and done with," Brown said from New York, where he is attending NHL meetings with other team executives.
Kane's agent, Craig Oster, did not return messages seeking comment about why his client would have allowed these tickets to lapse to the point where the government was forced to take legal action against him.
Kane returned to Winnipeg earlier this week to get ready for the team's upcoming training camp.
He met with the media on Tuesday and promised big things, saying he's nearly fully recovered from off-season foot surgery and a nagging wrist injury.
Kane is also hoping to make a big splash and perhaps crack the lineup of Team Canada for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Although he was not among the 47 players Hockey Canada invited to Calgary last week for an orientation camp, Kane could still play his way onto Team Canada with a strong first half to the upcoming NHL season.
Kane is no stranger to criticism.
Last year, he came under fire for tweeting a picture of himself holding stacks of money on a Las Vegas hotel balcony, pretending it was a telephone.
The poorly timed tweet happened while NHL players were locked out by owners in a dispute over money, which delayed the start of the season by more than three months and angered fans across the country.
Kane, for the record, shrugged it off as a joke people simply didn't understand.
A true case of an attitude of entitlement? Or merely typical behaviour for a 22-year-old? Join the conversation in the comments below.