More Accounts Of Abuse Added To CHL Lawsuit

By Ben Hamill - December 11 2020
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More Accounts Of Abuse Added To CHL Lawsuit

A class action lawsuit filed against the Canadian Hockey League by two former league players in June 2020 has been joined by at least fourteen more former CHL players. The newly-joined players have now submitted affidavits with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice – affidavits detailing allegations of physical, sexual, and mental abuse, as well as hazing, suffered at the hands of other players and coaches.

Filed by former NHL player Daniel Carcillo, and former Western Hockey League player Garrett Taylor, the action represents the abuse, assault, and hazing suffered by children between the ages of 15 and 17 while away from their homes playing for Canadian Hockey League teams.

The affidavits recently filed in support of the lawsuit are deposed to by players who played in the league from as far back as the late 1970s, through 2014, a statement by legal representatives Koskie Minsky LLP has confirmed.

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A Lawsuit A Long Time Coming

The defendants in the lawsuit are cited as the CHL and its three member leagues – the Western Hockey League, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and the Ontario Hockey League. Co-defendants also included are all 60 teams playing under the cover and umbrella of the Canadian Hockey League.

One of the two plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Daniel Carcillo, started sharing his personal stories of abuse, injury, depression and hazing shortly after his retirement from the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015. Then, in 2019, former NHL player Akim Aliu added his voice to Carcillo’s when he began sharing his own accounts of abuse suffered while in the league. Aliu’s accusations of racial abuse suffered at the hands of Bill Peters, at the time coach of the Calgary Flames, ultimately led to Peters resigning.

More departures soon followed. Former Toronto Leafs coach Mike Babcock was sacked following several accusations of emotional abuse, and Blackhawks assistant coach Marc Crawford was suspended and ultimately stepped away from the team following accusations of choking players and directing homophobic slurs at former player Patrick O’Sullivan.   

CHL Responds As Expected

The CHL has in the meantime responded via a statement to questions posed by the media, confirming that it is currently reviewing the latest legal documents filed with the court. The league furthermore alleges that the matter is being considered in a serious light and that the allegations made in the affidavits are deeply disturbing.

The statement however then goes on to refer to the historic nature of the allegations, with the league emphasising its position on the matter as that of a belief that the accusations made in the documents are not reflective of the current experiences of CHL players.

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