Multiple members of 2018 World Junior team implicated in allegations today
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Multiple members of 2018 World Junior team implicated in allegations today

Is it finally all coming to light?



This just in, Philadelphia Flyers GM Daniel Briere has announced that goaltender Carter Hart has left the team for personal reasons. Hart has no timetable for his return.

From the Flyers:

The 25 year old goaltender has 12 wins in 26 starts this season, with a 2.80 goals against average and a .906 save percentage. 

Heading into this season, expectations for Hart were very high. The native of Sherwood Park, Alberta has had five up and down seasons in the NHL and has been on the precipice of 'coming of age' for awhile now. Often as goaltenders mature, they often become more consistent and better equipped to handle the rigors of professional hockey. Teams rely heavily on their netminders to provide stability and make key saves in crucial moments, and Hart was expected to continue developing into that reliable presence for the Flyers.

This season was predicted to be a crucial juncture in Hart's career, with his contract expiring in the 2024 offseason. A strong campaign would potentially solidigy his status as one of the league's top goaltenders. Coaches, fans, and analysts have been watching closely to see how he handles the pressures of the game and whether he can elevate his performance to help lead the Flyers to success.

In terms of statistical performance, one would hope to see improvements in key metrics such as goals-against average (GAA) and save percentage (SV%). These numbers are critical indicators of a goaltender's effectiveness and ability to keep their team competitive. Additionally, the number of shutouts and wins would contribute to assessing Hart's impact on the Flyers' overall success. For Hart, that hasn't really been the case this season. While he hasn't been terrible, he hasn't seen a noticeable increase in play either.

We can only speculate as to the reasons why Hart would be taking a leave of absence from the team, but I don't think it's too far of a stretch to say that this kid has had the weight of the world put on his shoulders and that can be a difficult thing to manage.

Anoter potential reason for Hart's leave of absence posited by long time Toronto Sun reporter Steve Simmons may have to do with Hockey Canada's upcoming release of a sexual assault investigation. Without outright naming Hart and fellow 2018 Team Canada teammate Dillon Dube of the Calgary Flames, who also left his NHL team earlier this week, Simmons implicates both players in the scandal.

From Simmons:

Now, this amounts to nothing but baseless accusations from Simmons but you have to admit that the coincidence of both of these players taking leave at the same time will raise some eyebrows around the hockey world.

I sincerely hope that both players, who have denied any involvement, are cleared if/when the investigation becomes public.

It's worth noting that each member of Team Canada's 2018 World Juniors team has come forward either with alibis or with public statements regarding their involvement with police investigation... well everyone except former Ottawa Senators forward Alex Formenton. Formenton has yet to make a statement and hasn't played a game for the Senators in two years so... draw your own conclusions there.

The list of players denying involvement and providing alibis:

Kale Clague, Jordan Kyrou, Cale Makar, Victor Mete, Robert Thomas.

The list of players denying involvement without alibis:

Maxime Comtois, Dillon Dube, Carter Hart, Dante Fabbro, Cal Foote, Jonah Gadjovich, Brett Howden, Colton Point, Taylor Raddysh, Sam Steel, Tyler Steenbergen, Connor Timmins, Jake Bean.

The list of players who release statements, but did not deny involvement:

Boris Katchouk, Michael McLeod, Drake Batherson.

List of players who have not released a statement:

Alex Formenton.

Again, you can draw your own conclusions from this list but it is in no way an indictment or an implication of any abuse.

Fans online are beginning to draw the lines themselves and hoping that we can get a look at the results of the investigation sooner rather than later. Stay tuned.

Source: Steve Simmons