NHL stars weigh in on scandal-filled summer for Hockey Canada

·3 min read

One of the biggest sports stories of 2022 has been Hockey Canada’s scandal-filled summer, with news breaking in May of an alleged sexual assault in London, Ont., involving eight unidentified members of the 2018 World Juniors roster.

Once this news came to light, another woman came forward with allegations that she was sexually assaulted by members of the 2003 World Juniors team in Halifax. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

You can find a full timeline of the events here.

Canadian NHL stars Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar were each asked about the news and the ongoing saga on Thursday at the player media tour just outside Las Vegas, per the Canadian Press. Here's what they had to say.

Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against Nathan MacKinnon #29 of the Colorado Avalanche in Game 1 of the NHL's Western Conference Final. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against Nathan MacKinnon #29 of the Colorado Avalanche in Game 1 of the NHL's Western Conference Final. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Connor McDavid

The Oilers captain has worn the red maple leaf on his chest multiple times, winning gold with Canada at the World Juniors in 2015 and IIHF World Hockey Championship in 2016.

McDavid maintains he is proud to be Canadian and to represent Hockey Canada, but quickly shared his compassion for anyone affected by the incidents.

“A situation that is terrible for everybody,” he said.

Nathan MacKinnon

MacKinnon was a member of Team Canada at the 2013 World Juniors and has participated in multiple World Championships.

Still celebrating his Colorado Avalanche’s Stanley Cup victory this past June, MacKinnon couldn’t help but feel for the victims of the sexual assault cases.

“It’s sad,” said MacKinnon. “There’s no place for that.

“I don’t know all the investigation stuff, but whatever happened wasn’t OK — that’s the main thing.”

Cale Makar

Makar was a member of the 2018 World Juniors team but previously stated he wasn’t involved in the alleged incident and spoke with investigators in its immediate aftermath. He reiterated he will cooperate again in the investigation to get to the bottom of the scandal.

“I’m a completely open book,” Makar said. “I’ll be ready for whatever. Whatever they need, basically, I’ll be there.”

Makar, who is the reigning Norris Trophy winner as the NHL’s top defenceman, spoke with his parents about the Hockey Canada situation, criticizing the National Equity Fund.

“You think about even myself coming up through minor hockey,” the 2022 Conn Smythe Trophy winner said. “My parents talk about all the fees they paid Hockey Canada and yada yada for me to be able to play, and then for all this stuff to come out, I can only imagine the amount of parents that were thinking, ‘Oh, this is where my fees are going.’

“It’s obviously a very tough look. The identity and the culture definitely needs to be changed. It’s just that time.”

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