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It's been nearly a full calendar year now since Hockey Canada was absolutely rocked by serious sexual assault allegations.
In May, 2022, TSN investigative reporter Rick Westhead uncovered details of an alleged sexual assault on a young woman from eight former Hockey Canada players, including members of the 2018 Team Canada World Junior Championships roster. The young woman was paid $3.5 million in a cover up from Hockey Canada and the identities of the players was protected from the public.
Once the news was reported though, an internal investigation was announced by Hockey Canada and by London, Ontario police. Hockey Canada's elected board members have all resigned in disgrace and the organization has tried to change its public image through an aggressive PR campaign. Outside of that though, they haven't really done anything. No one has been charged, no one has been implicated, Hell... I forgot about the entire thing until Westhead dropped another bombshell report earlier today. Westhead now reports that Hockey Canada has decided to temporarily suspend ANY players from the 2018 World Juniors roster until their investigation is complete.
“Earlier this year, Hockey Canada made a decision that until the investigation and adjudicative process of the alleged incident in 2018 are complete, no players from the 2018 National Junior Team will be considered for participation for Team Canada,” a Hockey Canada spokesman wrote in a statement. “This has been communicated to the management group for Team Canada at the 2023 IIHF Men’s World Championship.”
This means players like Cale Makar, Robert Thomas, Jordan Kyrou, Dillon Dube, Carter Hart and Dante Fabbro will all be ineligible to play for Canada at the upcoming World Championships. And perhaps beyond that event as well, because personally I don't see Hockey Canada rushing to come to any resolution in this matter. I suspect that they'll drag things on as long as they can so as to further obfuscate the situation.
While most players on that 2018 WJC roster have come forward to proclaim their innocence it's worth noting that 8 members of the team have declined to comment on the investigation. They are: Alex Formenton, Sam Steel, Max Comtois, Tyler Steenburgen, Drake Batherson, Michael McLeod, Boris Katchouk and Brett Howden. Now, that doesn't mean that these players have been implicated in anything, it's simply matter of fact. These 8 young men have refused to comment, while their teammates have come out and have made statements saying that they were not involved and had no knowledge of the allegations at the time.