VOORHEES, NJ (CBS/AP) — During Wednesday’s scheduled midseason press conference at the Philadelphia Flyers’ practice facility in Voorhees, New Jersey, general manager Danny Briere addressed Carter Hart’s leave of absence.

Briere stated that the Flyers are “aware” of media stories surrounding the 2018 Hockey Canada sexual assault inquiry.

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“We are aware of this morning’s press stories concerning a very serious problem. “We will respond appropriately when the results of the investigations are made public,” Briere stated. “The NHL has made it clear that teams should direct all investigation-related queries to them. Meanwhile, members of the organisation, including Flyers players, will not make any additional comments.

Briere stated that he had not been in contact with Hart. He said that the Flyers don’t have

London, Ontario, police initiated an inquiry in 2022 after learning that Hockey Canada had settled a lawsuit with a woman who claimed she was sexually abused by eight members of the team at a banquet.

Hockey Canada has made significant improvements in the nearly two years after this and other scandals surfaced, as well as losing big sponsors. CEO Scott Smith was fired, and the board of directors resigned in October 2022, over how Hockey Canada handled sexual assault complaints and paid out settlements.

According to the Globe and Mail, five players from that team have been ordered to surrender to police in the city midway between Toronto and Detroit to face sexual assault accusations.

When The Associated Press contacted London Police, a spokeswoman declined to confirm the allegation. “When there is an update to provide, we will share it with media outlets,” Sgt. Sandasha Bough said. London Police stated Wednesday that they will host a news conference on February 5 to provide additional information “in relation to a sexual assault investigation dating back to 2018.”

Hart’s leave of absence came two days after the Calgary Flames announced that player Dillon Dube had left the team to care for his mental health.

On Wednesday, the New Jersey Devils announced that Michael McLeod and Cal Foote had been granted an indefinite leave of absence.

Alex Formenton received an indefinite leave of absence from HC Ambrì-Piotta, a professional hockey team in Switzerland. The team announced that Formenton will return to Canada.

Hart, Dube, McLeod, Foote, and Formenton were part of the 2018 U-20 Team Canada.

The NHL launched their inquiry in 2022 and promised to make the findings public.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press via email Wednesday that the league will publish a comment when it was appropriate, adding that there was nothing further he could say at this time. At the Stanley Cup Final in June, Daly stated that an independent investigator had concluded work and that the league expected a report by midsummer, which it would then consider.

“We have been in contact with the London police, continue to want to be in contact with them, make sure that there’s visibility with respect to what our process is,” Daly told the BBC on June 3. “And our goal would be to discover what theirs is. And I can’t predict what occurs after that.”

Briere stated Wednesday that the Flyers will rely on goalie Samuel Ersson.

“What I can tell you is that Sam Ersson has played extremely well,” he remarked. “Has earned the right to additional ice time. We’re thrilled with our goaltending, especially the way Sam has performed.”

It’s worth noting that Briere had previously arranged a presentation before the Hart announcement on Tuesday. Briere also acknowledged the Flyers’ current situation during his midseason availability.

It was unclear when or if the NHL will divulge the findings of its inquiry, as well as what consequences any players involved may face. There was also no clarity on the three other players who were supposed to be engaged.

Hockey Canada has made significant improvements in the nearly two years after this and other scandals surfaced, as well as losing big sponsors. CEO Scott Smith was fired, and the board of directors resigned in October 2022, over how Hockey Canada handled sexual assault complaints and paid out settlements.

Nike discontinued their agreement with Hockey Canada permanently last year after pausing it, along with other sponsors, in response to harsh criticism of the organization’s leadership.

The Flyers have outperformed expectations while being in the midst of an open rebuild. The orange and black have a 25-17-6 record and are second in the Metropolitan Division. If the season ended today, the Flyers would make the playoffs. Philadelphia has lost three consecutive

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