Jan 21, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers left wing Joel Farabee (86) celebrates his goal with right wing Travis Konecny (11) against the Ottawa Senators during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

According to TSN journalist Rick Westhead’s story on Tuesday, Flyers goaltender Carter Hart is one of five players from the 2018 Canadian world junior squad facing sexual assault charges.

According to the article, Hart, the Flames’ Dillon Dube, the Devils’ Michael McLeod and Cal Foote, and Alex Formenton, who plays professionally in Switzerland, were ordered to surrender to London, Ontario police.

Megan Savard and Riaz Sayani of Savard Foy LLP issued the following statement on Tuesday on behalf of Hart. It was also acquired by NBC Sports Philadelphia.

“We represent Carter Hart and can confirm he has been charged with one count of sexual assault. He is innocent and will respond to this false claim in the appropriate arena, a court of law. Until then, we have no comments.”

On January 23, Hart was granted an indefinite leave of absence from the Flyers, citing personal reasons.

On January 24, Robyn Doolittle of the Globe and Mail reported that five players of the 2018 Canadian world junior squad were ordered to surrender after being charged with sexual assault in connection with an alleged June 2018 incident. According to Doolittle, Formenton handed himself in Sunday, prepared to “vigorously defend his innocence.”

Hart, Dube, McLeod, Foote, and Formenton having recently taken leave from their respective clubs.

Prior to Tuesday, there was no information on whether Hart’s leave of absence was related to the police probe or the NHL’s inquiry into the accusations, which arise from an April 2022 lawsuit filed against Hockey Canada.

According to Westhead, all of the players are anticipated to surrender, and the claims against them have yet to be substantiated. On January 24, London police did not provide an update on their investigation, but stated that they planned to conduct a news conference on Monday, February 5, to reveal facts.

There has been no update on the NHL inquiry.

“We will respond appropriately when the outcomes of the investigations are made public,” Flyers general manager Danny Briere said in a statement on Jan. 24. “The NHL has made it clear that teams should direct all investigation-related queries to them. Meanwhile, members of the organization, including Flyers players, will not make any additional comments.

The lawsuit against Hockey Canada claimed that members of the 2018 under-20 world junior squad sexually abused a young woman in June 2018 in London, Ontario. According to Katie Strang of The Athletic, Hockey Canada and the woman settled their claim in May 2022.

In May 2022, the NHL launched an investigation, stating that it would “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.”

In September 2022, Hart stated that he was “fully cooperating” and “respecting the process” in the NHL investigation.

Red Wings' high-flying offense grounded by Flyers in 1-0 loss - mlive.com

“I can’t really talk about it right now,” Hart told them. “I wish I could …” But that’s all I can say.

He repeated same remarks at his season-ending press conference in April of last year.

“I can’t talk about it right now,” Hart replied. “I wish I could, but not until it’s over.”

The Flyers selected the 25-year-old in the second round of the 2016 draft. Last October, he began his fifth season opener for the Flyers. Hart is 12-9-3 this season with a 2.80 GAA,.906 save percentage, and one shutout.

He is in the final year of a three-year, $11.937 million contract ($3.979 million average yearly value) and is expected to become a restricted free agency in the summer.

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