By The Canadian Press on January 31, 2024.
A Canadian lawyer says the five players from Canada’s 2018 world junior hockey team facing sexual assault charges also have the potential to encounter legal issues with their respective NHL teams as well.
Richard McLaren, an Ontario lawyer who authored a report into Russia’s sports doping at the Olympics, says players could be banned from playing in the NHL due to violating their teams’ and the league’s code of conduct.
He says even if the players are acquitted in a criminal court, the code of conduct agreement laid out by the players’ union and pro clubs means they could be banned from playing in the NHL in the future.
The NHL has conducted its own investigation into the sexual assault allegations, which have not been proven in court.
Lawyers for all five players: Alex Formenton, Calgary Flames forward Dillon Dube, Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart, New Jersey forward Michael McLeod and Devils defenceman Cal Foote say their clients intend to plead not guilty.
Formenton, a former Ottawa Senator who plays in Switzerland, surrendered to police in London on Sunday.
The five players have also been allowed to go on indefinite leave from their pro clubs.
NHL teams have directed inquiries about the players involved in the case to the league. The league did not immediately return a request for comment.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 31, 2024.