Hockey Canada says it has reached a settlement with a person alleging they were sexually assaulted by members of the 2017-18 national junior men's hockey team. The organization confirmed the settlement in a statement provided to Sportsnet.
TSN’s Rick Westhead was the first to report on the lawsuit and the settlement.
The allegations, which have not been heard in a court of law, date back to 2018 and involve some players who were on the 2017-18 under-20 men’s national junior team, which won gold at the annual late-December tournament. Westhead reports the alleged assault occurred in June of 2018 after a Hockey Canada Foundation event in London, Ont.
In its statement, Hockey Canada said it immediately contacted local authorities after learning about the alleged assaults in 2018 and retained Henein Hutchison LLP to "undertake a thorough independent internal investigation and make recommendations on areas for improvement which we have been implementing and will continue to pursue."
Hockey Canada says the person making the allegations chose not to speak with police or Hockey Canada’s independent investigator. That person has also chosen not to identify the players involved, Hockey Canada said.
In a statement, the NHL said it was informed of the suit two days ago and that the specific allegations made in the statement of claim are "both abhorrent and reprehensible."
“We will endeavor to determine the underlying facts and, to the extent this may involve players who are now in the NHL, we will determine what action, if any, would be appropriate,” the league said.
A lawyer representing the alleged victim did not respond to a request for comment.
The Canadian Hockey League, on May 30, told Sportsnet it had been notified of the claim "in early May" and that the league was "deeply troubled by the allegations," but that it had been advised by Hockey Canada that the matter was settled.