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Flyers GM Daniel Briere addresses Carter Hart speculation amid leave of absence


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Philadelphia Flyers general manager Daniel Briere addressed the media hours after a report revealed that five members of Hockey Canada’s 2018 gold medal World Juniors team were told to surrender to police in Ontario to face sexual assault charges connected to a 2018 incident. 

His comments also followed Carter Hart’s indefinite leave of absence, which the team announced a day earlier. 

Carter Hart warms up

Carter Hart of the Flyers warms up for the Pittsburgh Penguins game at the Wells Fargo Center on Jan. 8, 2024, in Philadelphia. (Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

“We are aware of this morning’s press reports on the very serious matter. We will respond appropriately when the outcomes of the investigations are made public,” Briere said to open Wednesday’s press conference. 

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“The NHL has been very clear that teams should refer all investigation-related questions to them. In the meantime, members of the organization, including Flyers players, will not be commenting further. That’s all we can say at the moment, unfortunately.” 

The five players, who have not been identified, are connected to a 2022 complaint in which a woman, identified only as “E.M.,” alleged that she was sexually assaulted by several members of the team in a hotel room following a Hockey Canada gala event held in 2018 to honor their win at the World Junior Ice Hockey Championship, The Globe and Mail reported Wednesday. 

Team Canada Flag

The Canadian flag is rolled out by spectators before Canada and Sweden compete in the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship on Dec. 31, 2022, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Hart, who was a member of that team at the time, has not been identified as one of the five players in the report. But Briere was asked to address if his leave of absence was related to the reports that surfaced on Wednesday. 

5 MEMBERS OF HOCKEY CANADA’S 2018 WORLD JUNIORS TEAM TOLD TO SURRENDER TO POLICE IN SEX ASSAULT CASE: REPORT

“I don’t know. I really can’t tell because we don’t know anything,” he said. “We’re not aware of anything. There’s a lot of speculation, that’s all we know.”

Hart, 25, is 12-9-3 in his sixth NHL season, the final one of his three-year contract worth $11.9 million.

“Carter Hart was having a very good season up to this point,” Briere added. 

News of Hart’s absence followed news on Sunday that Calgary Flames forward Dillon Dube was granted an indefinite leave of absence for mental health reasons. 

On Wednesday, the New Jersey Devils also granted Michael McLeod and Cal Foote an indefinite leave of absence. 

Carter Hart watches the net

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart watches the puck during the Minnesota Wild game on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024, in St. Paul. (AP Photo/Adam Bettcher)

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All four players were members of Hockey Canada’s 2018 team. 

The NHL did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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