1707202102 2018 Junior Team Canada The calm before the circus

2018 Junior Team Canada: The calm before the circus

LONDON – All eyes are on the Ontario city of London as local police there hold a news conference Monday afternoon about five players from Canada's 2018 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship team being linked to an alleged gang rape.

• Also read: The five hockey players were not scheduled to play during the trial

• Also read: Collective rape: The identities of the five players of the ÉCJ 2018 have been revealed

• Also read: 2018 Canada Junior Team – “I wasn’t there” –Cale Makar

There was obviously an elephant in the room at the NHL All-Star Game in Toronto, and we might now see it even further away in Ontario.

A media circus is expected at the local convention center.

London is smaller than Quebec. About the same population as Laval. There are fewer than 500,000 residents.

The city center was also extremely deserted on Sunday afternoon and evening as we waited out the storm.

Proclaim innocence

We already know that the five players' careers were put on hold after they were ordered to hand themselves in to the London police.

Philadelphia Flyers goalkeeper Carter Hart is undoubtedly the most famous athlete among them. Dillon Dubé, Cal Foote and Michael McLeod, all linked to the NHL, complete the portrait with Alex Formenton, formerly of the Ottawa Senators and most recently playing for Ambri Piotta's Swiss team.

2018 Junior Team Canada The calm before the circus

AFP photos

“Alex will vigorously defend his innocence and asks people not to rush to judgment without hearing all the evidence,” Formenton’s legal team said in a statement on Sunday, January 28, when Formenton visited London police.

When is the trial?

This evidence will inevitably be heard during a trial, the date of which has not yet been confirmed.

As the next developments emerge from the London Police investigation, it is important to remember that Hockey Canada and the National Hockey League have also conducted their own internal investigations.

The NHL launched its initiative in May 2022 and promised to release certain results last summer.

However, nothing was revealed in order not to jeopardize the legal process.

“All of the obviously affected players are no longer with their team and at this time the wisest and most responsible thing for us to do is wait for the legal process to end,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said, pressing questions during his conference on the All-Star Game . Then we will do what is appropriate.”

Since all the media are on site, many questions will be asked on Monday, which should provide at least some answers to what will happen next.