Insider shares update on Dillon Dubé, Carter Hart, Michael McLeod and Cal Foote.
Chris Szagolo/CSM/Zuma  

Insider shares update on Dillon Dubé, Carter Hart, Michael McLeod and Cal Foote.

NHL insider reveals the status of the four Canadian world junior players charged with sexual assault.

Jonathan Larivee

The hype and excitement of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the National Hockey League's Entry Draft and the pending free agency period have distracted many of us from the fact that hockey is currently going through one of its biggest scandals in recent memory.

Five Canadian world junior players have been charged with sexual assault, four of whom were still active players in the NHL at the time that the news broke to the public, and there have been some questions regarding their status for the upcoming NHL season. All of these men are of course innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of the law, and as a result this has raised questions about whether or not NHL teams would be eligible to sign them as free agents.

A recent update from NHL insider Chris Johnston has revealed that this is indeed the case, with both the NHL and National Hockey League Players Association declining to make any changes to their status while the legal process continues to play out in this matter.

This means that, barring a qualifying offer tendered before 5 pm later today, Dillon Dubé, Carter Hart, Michael McLeod and Cal Foote will all become unrestricted free agents and will be eligible to sign with a team of their choice.

This may be a moot point however as I don't believe that any of the 32 teams in the NHL would risk the public relations nightmare that would come with having a player in the middle of a sexual assault case on your roster, not to mention how such a signing could potentially impact an NHL locker room. It may also be the case that the players themselves prefer to remain out of the public eye until the legal process has run its course.

That being said if there is a team desperate enough, it sounds like they have a clear path towards signing any of these players.