On Thursday, former NHL player Daniel Carcillo filed a class-action lawsuit against the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) and its three major junior leagues for alleged physical and verbal harassment, physical assault, sexual harassment and assault, hazing, and bullying of underage players by senior players, coaches, and team staff. Carcillo is the lead plaintiff in the case alongside former CHL player Garrett Taylor.
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“This case is on behalf of underage minors who suffered violent hazing, physical and sexual assault, and psychological trauma while playing major junior hockey,” Carcillo said in a statement. “I was one of those kids when I played in the OHL. I know there are many more just like me.”
Carcillo and Taylor described numerous, disturbing alleged incidents in a 46-page document filed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto.
The CHL has yet to acknowledge the legal action and allegations have not been proven thus far. According to the Canadian Press, the lawsuit seeks “damages for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract, and a declaration that the teams and the leagues are vicariously liable for abuse perpetrated by their employees and players.”
Carcillo won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013 and 2015, played three OHL seasons with the Sarnia Sting and the Mississauga IceDogs, and later retired from the NHL in 2015 after nine seasons. Taylor played for the Lethbridge Hurricanes and the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL for parts of two seasons.
Carcillo also said, “I believe this case will give those who were abused a chance to be heard. In my experience, sharing stories of abuse is part of the healing process. It allows a person to take the power back. I also believe that this lawsuit will create real, positive change in Canadian junior hockey. This type of abuse has nothing to do with the sport and it needs to stop.”
Earlier this week, the OHL and Kitchener Rangers launched an investigation after former OHL player Eric Guest alleged in a video that when he was 16, Guest and another young player were forced to do cocaine in a bathroom as rookies.
By Della Young