Happy Wednesday, everyone.
Yesterday was a content rich day at Leafs dev camp, with the return of the annual cooking lessons.
I always picture their parents watching this and laughing at their spoiled little hockey obsessed kids working in the kitchen.
There was another scrimmage, which is a chance for video of the prospects getting buzz this year. One is Mem Cup champ William Villeneuve:
Mathieu De St.Phalle opens the scoring for team Blue pic.twitter.com/yI69ZM8hzt— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 19, 2022
Meanwhile a single reporter went on the radio and said Matthew Tkachuk would be traded within the week. Someone put that in a tweet, so if it’s in a tweet, it’s true.
Eric Francis today on 101 ESPN in St. Louis said that he expects a possible Matthew Tkachuk trade to be wrapped up within the week. He said it was clear to him the two are parting ways.— Mark Scheig (@markscheig) July 19, 2022
It is certain that the Flames elected arbitration on Tkachuk, and that never ends well with a star RFA. The ending isn’t necessarily going to be this week, but if he goes, the GM of the Flames can’t be far behind.
In serious hockey news, the story of Hockey Canada’s settlement of a lawsuit stemming from a sexual assault charge in 2018 is back in the headlines. This is a complex story, and there has never been a criminal trial, and there never was any litigation around the lawsuit. Nothing anyone says has been tested in court.
First up, the lawyers for various players who might have been involved or are thought to be involved are giving information to the Globe and Mail:
The Globe has also done some independent reporting and uncovered details of what is now being referred to publicly as the “National Equity Fund”.
This is a dense financial and court filings analysis that came to this conclusion:
Hockey Canada keeps a special multimillion-dollar fund, which is fed by the registration fees of players across the country, that it uses to pay out settlements in cases of alleged sexual assault without its insurance company, and with minimal outside scrutiny.
The money is used at Hockey Canada’s discretion and can be deployed to write cheques to cover out-of-court settlements for a variety of claims, including allegations of sexual assault, that are deemed uninsurable or are settled without the participation of its insurer.
The fund is filled and maintained out of the registration fees that are paid to Hockey Canada by the parents of millions of children who have participated in all levels of hockey over the years. That fee is used to fund Hockey Canada, pay for insurance that covers those players, and some other uses. In court documents filed in another case, there is some money unaccounted for. The Globe has confirmed that is the source of this fund and the practice continues.
This fund isn’t exactly a hush money slush fund, it has legitimate purposes, but in effect — that’s what it looks like, even to the Prime Minister:
"When I think about the culture that is apparently permeating the highest orders of that organization, I can understand why so many parents, why so many Canadians ... are absolutely disgusted by what's going on" - PM Trudeau, on Hockey Canada #cdnpoli https://t.co/CRRZcf2iRv pic.twitter.com/y2MYGzFPTU— Mackenzie Gray (@Gray_Mackenzie) July 19, 2022
MP Chris Bittle on news of Hockey Canada's National Equity fund: "Absolutely shocking, in terms of what most Canadians would consider the preeminent sports organization in the country, to just have a slush fund built on kids' registration fees to pay out sexual assault cases. .."— Katie Strang (@KatieJStrang) July 19, 2022
Hockey Canada has released yet another statement to try to stem the tide against them:
Here is the statement from Hockey Canada on its National Equity Fund. Says it is used for a broad range of expenses, including claims not covered by insurance like “those related to physical injury, harassment and sexual misconduct”— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) July 19, 2022
Listen to @CityNewsTO #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/zVhN7hhQTS
More players have made official statements:
Lemire also told me that depending on how the Hockey Canada hearings unfold on July 26-27, he may request additional hearing dates for the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to continue investigate the allegations, and would consider asking former CHL players to testify.— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) July 19, 2022
And the NHL is said to be interviewing the players soon.
Please be mindful that you don’t know the personal experience of those reading what you say on this issue. Dramatic angry outbursts are often not what victimized people need to hear.
Speculation about the identities of people involved in this case will not be tolerated. Personal attacks on the complainant will result in permanent banning.