Flyers’ Carter Hart ordered to surrender to Ontario police on sexual assault charges

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Hurricanes' Brent Burns and Flyers' Carter Hart
Carolina Hurricanes’ Brent Burns, right, scores the game-winning goal against Philadelphia Flyers’ Carter Hart during overtime in an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

It’s news that the Philadelphia Flyers dreaded. Goalie Carter Hart was named as one of the four NHL players charged with sexual assault. The charge comes in connection to an alleged assault by members of Canada’s 2018 World Junior team. Calgary Flames forward Dillon Dubé and New Jersey Devils defenseman Cal Foote and forward Michael McLeod were also involved parties. Ottawa Senators reserve player Alex Formenton surrendered to London, Ontario police over the weekend.

Carter Hart subject to Sexual Assault charge

All pending charges are related to an alleged sexual assault of a woman by several players in a London hotel room in June 2018 following a Hockey Canada Foundation event. The lawsuit filed against Hockey Canada by the woman in April 2022 saw the allegations made public. In the complaint, the woman alleged she was assaulted by eight players in a hotel room after the event. 

Hockey Canada settled with the woman one month later in May 2022.

An initial investigation was closed back in February 2019 by the London police with no one charged in the alleged incident. June 2022 saw parliamentary hearings over Hockey Canada’s handling of the case and in July, Hockey Canada and London police re-opened their investigations. In a document dating to October 2022, officials believed they had reasonable grounds to believe that five team members were involved.

On January 24, The Globe and Mail’s Robyn Doolittle reported on X that five players from the 2018 Canada World Hockey junior team were told to surrender to London, Ont., police to face charges of sexual assault.

Flyers' Carter Hart
Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart (79) stops a Detroit Red Wings center Joe Veleno shot in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Almost a week later, Hart’s lawyers issued a statement on Tuesday about the charges:

“We act for Carter Hart and confirm he has been charged with one count of sexual assault. He is innocent and will provide a full response to this false allegation in the proper forum, a court of law. Until then, we have no comment.”

 Lawyers Megan Savard and Riaz Salani, 1/30/24

Originally, the 25-year-old Hart was asked about the investigation back in 2022 and responded that he cooperating with the NHL’s investigation and had no further comments at the time.

The 25-year-old was granted a sudden indefinite leave of absence on January 23 due to “personal reasons”. During a press conference the following day, Flyers general manager Danny Brière declined to answer any media questions about either Hart or the ongoing investigations.

Attorneys for McLeod, Dubé and also said that their clients were also pleading not guilty and would have “no further comments at this time.” The NHL has been conducting its investigation into the matter with little news on its proceedings.

Carter Hart is a six-year veteran in the league and has played over 227 games, including 26 games alone this season for Philadelphia.

AP Photo/Matt Slocum