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:

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.

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:

Canadian world junior player asked woman whether she had gone to police after alleged sexual assault

The Globe has also done some independent reporting and uncovered details of what is now being referred to publicly as the “National Equity Fund”.

How Hockey Canada used registration fees to build a fund to cover sexual-assault claims

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:

Hockey Canada has released yet another statement to try to stem the tide against them:

More players have made official statements:

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.