5 Members Of The 2018 Hockey Canada World Juniors Team Have Been Told To Surrender To Canadian Police

Andy Devlin. Getty Images.

For anyone who hasn't been keeping up, the 2018 Canadian World Juniors team has been in the midst of a sexual assault controversy for a few years now. There have been allegations, investigations, cover ups, freezes on funding for Hockey Canada from the Canadian government, a leadership change at the top of Hockey Canada, more investigations, and finally we're at the point now where 5 members of that team have been forced to surrender themselves to London police to face charges of sexual assault. 

Now before we even get started here, the most important thing in all of this is that the victim here is able to get the justice she deserves and is able to start to lead a somewhat normal life after all of this is done. Hockey means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of life. It's a game. None of it matters. If anybody here is upset because your favorite hockey team is about to lose a player, your priorities are fucked beyond repair. 

Now as far as those 5 players from the 2018 WJC go, no names have formally been announced yet but it's pretty easy to piece together who might be connected to all of this with 5 players all being granted a leave of absence from their current hockey team around the same time. 

The other week Dillon Dube was granted a leave from the Calgary Flames, Carter Hart granted a leave from the Flyers, Michael McLeod and Cal Foote have both been granted a leave from the New Jersey Devils, and Alex Formenton is currently the only one not playing in the NHL and has been granted a leave by his team in Switzerland. The fact that all 5 of those guys were on the 2018 World Juniors team and all have requested a leave within the past few days seems a little too much to just be coincidental. 

So now we wait to see what the fate of these players will be over the next few days. I'm obviously not a lawyer, and have no idea how the law works in Canada. I know that charges having technically been filed yet, but I feel like 5 guys wouldn't surrender themselves to the police if charges weren't on the way. For starters, I'd imagine the NHL has been waiting for formal charges to be filed before stepping in here to suspend any of these players. The last thing they'd want to do is suspend a bunch of guys based on allegations, but having criminal charges filed against them would finally give the NHL the green light here to do everything they can to keep these guys out of the league. I'd also imagine with the way the Canadian government has been coming down on Hockey Canada over these past few years, they will be looking to make an example out of these players to try to change the culture in hockey. All of it is still very much up in the air right now, but for the first time in 5 years it seems like we're actually getting pretty close to an end. 

Which, again, is the best thing that anybody can hope for. The best thing you can hope for is justice for the victim. The ability for her to move on with her life as best as she can. It'll also be good for the NHL to finally be able to lay a hammer here if necessary instead of just sitting on their hands any longer. I get that legal proceedings take forever and they wanted to make sure they didn't jump the gun to early. But if any formal charges end up getting filed, at least this way the NHL can set the tone here with how they handle this situation. The whole thing has been going on for long enough know with very little details being out there. That's led to a ton of speculation which isn't good for anybody. Not for the victim, not for the innocent members of that 2018 World Juniors team, not for hockey in general. It'll be a great day once all of this is finally dealt with.