NHL Commissioner Waits for Judicial Process to Unfold in Sexual Assault Case Involving Four Players

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has announced that the league will await the conclusion of the judicial proceedings before making any decisions regarding four players who have been charged with sexual assault. The charges stem from a 2018 case involving Canada’s world junior team. Speaking at the All-Star Weekend, Bettman condemned the allegations as “abhorrent, reprehensible, horrific, and unacceptable.”

The players involved in the case are Carter Hart of the Philadelphia Flyers, Michael McLeod and Cal Foote of the New Jersey Devils, and Dillon Dube of the Calgary Flames. All four players are currently on indefinite leave from their respective teams. However, Bettman stated that the league does not consider it necessary to suspend the players without pay for the remainder of the season.

Bettman emphasized the importance of allowing the judicial process to unfold before taking any action. He stated, “The most responsible and prudent thing for us to do is await the conclusion of the judicial proceedings, at which point we will respond as appropriate at the time.” He also noted that the players do not have contracts beyond this season, making the timing of any potential contract termination irrelevant.

Former NHL player Alex Formenton has also been charged in connection with the case. Attorneys for all five players have maintained their clients’ innocence. The London Police have scheduled a news conference on Monday to provide an update on the case. However, due to a legal backlog in Canada, it remains uncertain when any court proceedings might begin.

When asked about the eligibility of the players in the meantime, Bettman expressed doubt that they would continue playing while the charges are pending. He suggested that their focus should be on defending themselves assuming the charges are brought against them.

Bettman’s decision-making authority in matters concerning the game is wide-ranging. In 2019, the league suspended Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov for the entire 2019-20 season and playoffs after determining he had committed acts of domestic violence. Additionally, Shane Pinto was suspended for 41 games for violating the league’s gambling policy. The NHL conducted its own investigation in 2022 and pledged to release the findings, which concluded last summer. However, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly stated that no information would be released while the case is ongoing.

Marty Walsh, the NHL Players’ Association executive director, refrained from providing details about the union’s role in the situation. He stated, “You have to wait and see what happens in the courts and how the court proceedings go.” Walsh emphasized the need to focus on the current legal process before discussing any future steps.

The case originated from a lawsuit filed against Hockey Canada in 2022, alleging that a woman was sexually assaulted by eight members of Canada’s world junior team after a fundraising gala in London in 2018. Hockey Canada settled the lawsuit, and subsequent investigations revealed the existence of two secret slush funds within the organization to pay out settlements related to claims of sexual assault and abuse. Bettman stated that the NHL became aware of the allegations on May 26, 2022. The league conducted interviews with every player from the team involved, although the woman declined to participate in the investigation.

As the legal proceedings continue, the NHL remains committed to ensuring a fair and just resolution. The league will closely monitor the developments and respond accordingly once the judicial process concludes.

 

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

4 Responses

  1. Do you think it is fair for the NHL to wait for the conclusion of judicial proceedings before taking action against players charged with sexual assault? Should the league have its own independent investigation process in such cases?

  2. I understand that the NHL wants to wait for the conclusion of the judicial proceedings before taking any action regarding the players charged with sexual assault. However, I believe that the league should take a stronger stance against such serious allegations.

    By waiting for the legal process to play out, it may give the impression that the NHL is prioritizing the players’ careers over the well-being and safety of potential victims. It is crucial for the league to send a clear message that sexual assault allegations will not be tolerated, regardless

  3. “Justice delayed is justice denied.” – William E. Gladstone

    This quote resonates with the post because it highlights the importance of timely justice. By waiting for the conclusion of the judicial proceedings before making any decisions regarding the players charged with sexual assault, the NHL Commissioner is essentially delaying justice for the victims and potentially denying them the opportunity for a fair resolution.

    In cases of sexual assault, it is crucial to prioritize the well-being and rights of the victims. Delaying decisions and actions can perpetuate

  4. While it is important to respect the legal process and the presumption of innocence, waiting for the conclusion of judicial proceedings before taking any action sends a concerning message. The NHL has a responsibility to uphold a high standard of conduct for its players, both on and off the ice. By delaying any decisions, the league risks appearing indifferent to the seriousness of the charges and potentially undermining the victims’ trust in the organization.

    Taking immediate action, such as suspending the players pending the outcome of the legal proceedings, would

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