Hockey Canada Scandal | Bettman expects all players involved to testify

Details are still sparse on the NHL’s investigation into allegations of gang rape against 2018 Canada junior team players, but Gary Bettman is adamant about “full cooperation” from everyone involved.

Posted at 6:50 p.m

Simon Olivier Lorange

Simon Olivier Lorange
The press

“I don’t see why a player wouldn’t testify,” the NHL commissioner said Thursday during a press crowd, hours before the first round of the draft begins at Bell Center. He expects the teams of people linked to this case to “make their players available” and that they “tell the truth”.

After Hockey Canada’s annual inaugural gala in June 2018, a young woman was allegedly raped by eight hockey players in a hotel room in London, Ontario. Almost four years later, last April, the victim filed a civil lawsuit against the eight suspects Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League, an organization that unites the country’s three junior leagues. As the lawsuit states, the eight men attacked were all Canadian League players in 2018, but not necessarily members of the Canada team whose World Juniors triumph was highlighted that year.

Hockey Canada quickly settled the lawsuit out of court. After the affair became public knowledge last May, the NHL announced that it was launching an investigation to investigate the events and identify those responsible.

“We want to do the best possible investigation,” Bettman said Thursday. With a rare touch of sarcasm, he expressed a desire “of course to learn more than Hockey Canada was able to reveal to us.”

The organization quickly hired an outside firm to investigate the allegations in the summer of 2018. However, we learned at a recent hearing by Hockey Canada before the Ottawa Heritage Committee that no more than a dozen players agreed to testify to investigators. The result was a report called “incomplete” by Hockey Canada, who considered the file closed.

“Our goal is to get to the bottom of it [cette affaire] and to have a full understanding of who did what,” continued Gary Bettman, who called the alleged acts “horrifying, appalling and unacceptable.”

The latter said he was counting on the cooperation of the Players’ Association, which, however, was not officially involved in the process. The final “parameters” of the investigation have not yet been announced. The League has hired its Executive Vice President of Security, Jared Maples, to initiate the investigation. It cannot be ruled out that he will call in an external company for support.

“Not constructive”

Although he “observed” the hearing for Hockey Canada in the House of Commons, Gary Bettman declined to comment on his leaders’ responses or the investigative process being conducted by the organization. Giving criticism is “not constructive,” he says.

He still hopes that Hockey Canada will be able to provide the results of his research, albeit incomplete, to the NHL. “We’re trying to figure out if we can have access to what they have. It hasn’t happened yet,” said the commissioner.

We ask for all possible information.

Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner

To his knowledge, some agents from the 2018 Canada junior team have communicated with NHL management, albeit in an “anecdotal” manner. “Nothing that would allow us to say: Here is what we know or don’t know. »

On the Players Association side, Mathieu Scheider, advisor to the managing director, did not want to comment on the situation. ” Most [des joueurs], if not all players, have their own advisors, so we are not involved. The league just keeps us in the loop,” said the former Canadiens defenseman.

Silence on Russia

If Gary Bettman was willing to answer questions about the hockey Canada scandal, he was a lot less talkative on the thorny issue of the league’s relations with Russia.

Goaltender Ivan Fedotov, the 2015 Flyers’ seventh-round pick, was arrested in Russia last week on charges that he allegedly obtained a “military ID card” several years ago to avoid conscription. Since then he has been sent to a military naval camp. On Wednesday it became known that star striker Kirill Kaprizov is actively wanted in Russia for the same reasons.

Asked about it on Wednesday, the circuit’s general managers seemed unhappy with the situation. They said they hadn’t received any guidelines from the league, which Gary Bettman confirmed.

Very circumspectly, the commissioner underlined that “it’s probably not a good idea, either for us or for the clubs, to get involved [tractations] politics of what is happening in Russia”.

“Russian players still living in Russia need to make sure they are making the best decisions for themselves and their families,” he added tersely.

In collaboration with Guillaume Lefrançois, The press

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