Affidavits: Abuse, harassment, hazing rampant in CHL, an NHL player pipeline


Warning: This story contains graphic content and language

Dozens of former Canadian Hockey League players filed affidavits in an Ontario Superior Court in Toronto earlier this week outlining horrifying allegations of abuse, hazing, and harassment. 

The Canadian Hockey League (CHL) is the umbrella organization representing three major junior leagues: the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), and Western Hockey League.

It is a major pipeline for promising NHL prospects to hone their skills before making the jump to the pros as the top 16-to-20-year-olds in Canada — the leading hockey hotbed in the world — are allowed to compete.

On opening night of the 2019-20 season, 339 CHL alumni were featured on NHL rosters, including 15 on the New York Islanders and eight on the New York Rangers.

Some of the allegations, obtained by TSN, include players being players sodomized with hockey sticks covered in “liquid heat,” rookies forced to masturbate and ejaculate on the same slice of bread with the last player to do so forced to eat it, and players being spat, urinated, and defecated on.

It’s a systemic issue that has gone back decades. The oldest accuser, Doug Smith, played for the Ottawa 67’s in the Ontario Hockey League between 1979 and 1982 and was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 1981.

The youngest accuser that filed an affidavit on Monday is 27 and played in the OHL between 2009 and 2014. Their identities are being kept hidden. 

This stems from a claim filed roughly six months ago when former Rangers winger Daniel Carcillo — who played with the Blueshirts from 2013-2014 — and Garrett Taylor said that the league, its teams, and their executives “perpetuated a toxic environment which condones violent, discriminatory, racist, sexualized, and homophobic conduct, including physical and sexual assault, on the underage players that they are obliged to protect.” (h/t TSN)

The hope from those who stepped forward is that a class-action lawsuit will be green-lighted by a judge, which would mean every current and former CHL player would become a plaintiff in the case. 

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