Skip to content
ECJ 2018: the NHL and certain executives have (unfortunately) remained silent

I’m definitely not from the school of cancel culture, virtue and giving lessons. I’m disgusted by those who want to cancel everyone at the slightest mistake.

And I’ll always advocate the importance of a society that has the “luxury ” of being able to rely on the principle of presumption of innocence.

BUT there will always be some damned limits. And Hockey Canada and the NHL have crossed those boundaries time and again in recent years.

Yesterday, we learned that five players fromTeam Canada Junior 2018 are now required to turn themselves in to the London police to face charges in connection with the alleged group sexual assault of 2018. FINALLY!

Around the same time, we could read via professional teams’ social networks that Carter Hart, Cal Foote, Michael McLeod, Alex Formenton (Switzerland) and Dillon Dube had all asked their respective clubs to be able to take an indefinite leave of absence, requests that were accepted by each of the DGs involved.

Coincidence? Let’s just say that such “obvious” coincidences are very rare… but then, they do happen. Keep that in mind and don’t jump to conclusions.

For the moment, it’s safe to assume thatat least three or four of the five players mentioned above are linked to the London police investigation. Perhaps 5?

Except that we can’t always conclude that the five absent players are involved. So we can’t be 100% certain of anyone’s involvement yet.

Mental health?
The Flames dared to talk about mental health to explain Dube’s absence. All this on #BellCauseForLaCause day too!

Is the #1 reason behind Dube’s absence really “his mental health”? Or is he one of the five accused? We’ll find out… in two weeks (or more), because the police won’t talk until February 5. #CEstLong

If ever Dube is indeed part of the quintet of defendants, you’ll hear me crying loudly in c***s over the Flames’ mental health excuse. You don’t fool around with mental health and the people who suffer from it! You don’t use it as an excuse to save face!

Chronology of events
Let’s review the facts… to better understand the hypocrisy of many people across the hockey planet.

Rick Westhead was the one who came up with this(disgusting) story in May 2022. He was told about the players allegedly involved.

The worst part? Hockey Canada had bought the victim’s silence… and not for the first time. The organization had a special fund for such “unresolved issues”.

The police had already investigated… and now they were investigating again.

Except that it took almost two years for the investigation to be completed and charges laid. At least 14 other investigations have taken place or are still underway concerning facts similar to those posed in 2018.

Yes, the most disgusting part of all this-if they’re found guilty-will always be the five players who have to go to the police. We agree on that. If they did indeed sexually assault a young victim collectively in 2018, they deserve to do time. We’re talking about criminal acts here and no one is above the law. Especially not a hockey player with a surplus of testosterone!

But what happened between May 2022 and January 2024 astounds me. Totally!

This story was known to many in the hockey world long before Rick Westhead came out. And when Westhead spoke out, there was nothing to stop a member of a team with a player from the 2018 Canadian junior crop under contract from calling or writing to him.

I told you I don’t really believe in chance, right?

That’s why I’d like to congratulate Julien BriseBois this morning. For what? Because he traded Boris Katchouk to the Blackhawks in 2022 and Cal Foote to the Predators in 2023. Two good prospects traded in transactions where the Lightning looked like they were getting screwed at first glance…

It’s now (perhaps) a little easier to understand why Julien BriseBois acted the way he did. #ValueDown?

If not, he simply acted with heart and respect to avoid being involved in a circus a few years later, without damaging the reputation and lives of Katchouk and Foote. Even if it means losing a little quality on the ice! #MoreThanHockey

At the very least, BriseBois wanted to show his credentials.

I’d also like to congratulate Pierre Dorion (since out of a job) for letting Alex Formenton go after the 2021-22 season, even though the latter had just had a good campaign. He must have had a good idea of how likely it was that his player would be linked to this story.

More and more managers and coaches are talking about the importance of establishing a certain culture in their dressing room. To do this, you have to avoid keeping certain elements in your recipe…

So, congratulations to two veteran managers who put their pants on, even if it meant weakening their respective teams.

While I congratulate some for their actions, I must also criticize those who did the opposite.

If the identities of the five accused do indeed correspond to those of the five recent absentees, it should be remembered that the Blackhawks, despite a certain history in this regard, have kept Katchouk in their line-up for the last two years. The same goes for Foote and McLeod in New Jersey… and Hart in Philadelphia! And if you were in the clear, why didn’t you investigate? Why didn’t you just drop Rick Westhead a line?

If the identities of the five accused are confirmed and they are indeed who we think they are this morning, I suggest this: instead of booing Jonathan Drouin when he visits the Bell Centre, let’s boo Daniel Brière, Chuck Fletcher, Tom Fitzgerald and Kyle Davidson instead.

Even if the latter was very emotional after the Corey Perry story two months ago!

Unless he wasacting and dramatizing that day?

The Hawks covered up the Kyle Beach story and it was very damaging to them. So they were extremely quick to act on Corey Perry this year. Why didn’t they conduct an in-house investigation to ensure that no suspects being investigated by the London police were in uniform on game nights?

Don’t get me wrong: I believe in the presumption of innocence and will always defend it… but when a criminal investigation is underway and one of your players is a suspect, the least you can do is suspend him pending the conclusion of that investigation. That’s how it works in other spheres of society. Even if you have to pay him during the investigation (and trial)…

If you were able to get Corey Perry out of your locker room following a NON-CRIMINAL story, how can you not suspend a player who is under criminal investigation?

The only valid explanation: you didn’t know your player was under investigation.

More plausible explanation: the NHL knew the names of the guys under investigation, but preferred to keep quiet and not act until the investigation was over. In short, the NHL decided to take the most cowardly route of all, in order not to get into trouble with the Players’ Association. So the teams couldn’t move.

The Flyers did try to trade Carter Hart last summer, but no one wanted him. Bravo Kent on that one, by the way.

The factremains that Daniel Brière could have refused to admit Carter Hart into his dressing room, sent him home (with pay) or put him through the waivers. He didn’t.

Since March 2022, the five accused – no matter who they are – have continued to pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, without shame. The NHL should have put its pants on. This rant by Anthony Desaulniers this morning on BPM Sports sums up perfectly what I think inside.


– Daniel Brière was very cautious in his short speech yesterday. I hope he’ll be more rigid once the charges are laid. Players facing charges must lose their privilege to play in the best league in the world until their eventual trial is over. The presumption of innocence will still allow them to get paid, I believe.

– Speaking of Daniel Brière, yes, he’s right to believe in the principle of second chances (with his son Carson). But the principle of second chances comes with the principle of having paid for your first mistake. #JustSaying

Reminder: Cale Foote had let it be known via his agent (the same as Cutter Gauthier) that he was not involved in the alleged gang rape.

– Ribeiro, Lucic, Voynov, Hockey Canada… the hockey culture and reputation of the sport I love so much has taken a beating in recent years. That’s got to change (for real).

– At long last! Many2018 ÉCJ players who have done nothing wrong will no longer have to live with a certain amount of doubt hanging over their heads about their possible involvement in this scandal. Damn, I can’t wait for the charges to drop.

More Content