Report: Hockey Canada trial date to be set soon

The trial date for the five pro hockey players facing sexual assault charges in Canada is expected to be set at a hearing on June 11, The Athletic reported Tuesday.

Attorneys for the players appeared virtually before Justice Alissa Mitchell on Tuesday and learned the scheduling date.

Set to go on trial are five players from Canada’s 2018 World Juniors hockey team — four of whom started the 2023-24 season on NHL rosters. The trial isn’t expected to start before the fall.

Police confirmed in a news conference on Feb. 5 that sexual assault charges had been filed against Carter Hart, Michael McLeod, Cal Foote, Dillon Dube and Alex Formenton.

Hart, McLeod, Foote, Dube and Formenton each face one count of sexual assault. McLeod faces an additional charge of being party to an offense.

The players have denied criminal wrongdoing and no allegations have been proved.

Formenton is a former NHL forward who was playing in Switzerland at the time of his arrest, while the other four were active NHL players who have taken paid leaves of absences from their teams — Hart (Philadelphia Flyers), Dube (Calgary Flames), and McLeod and Foote (New Jersey Devils).

The men stand accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a London, Ontario, hotel room in June 2018 after a Hockey Canada Foundation fundraiser.

TSN reported in May 2022 that a woman identified only by her initials in court documents settled a $3.55 million lawsuit she had filed against Hockey Canada and other defendants, including eight unnamed players.