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Gary Bettman comments on Hockey Canada resignations, Ian Cole investigation

Gary Bettman comments on Hockey Canada resignations, Ian Cole investigation thumbnail

| October 12, 2022, 12: 49 AM

October 12, 2022, 12: 49 AM

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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says he wasn’t surprised by the mass resignation by leadership at Hockey Canada.

“If you’ve been watching it closely, the announcement today wasn’t all that surprising,” Bettman said during the first intermission of Tuesday’s game between the Kings and Golden Knights in Vegas, according to Eric Stephens of The Athletic.

Hockey Canada CEO Scott Smith and the entire board of directors resigned Tuesday — days after interim board chair Andrea Skinner tendered her resignation — following months of public pressure from Ottawa and across the country in response to the organization’s handling of sexual assault allegations and lawsuits. The controversy stems from a lawsuit Hockey Canada quietly settled in May in which a woman accused eight CHL players, including members of the 2018 Canadian World Juniors team, of group sexual assault in a London, Ont., hotel room during a summer Hockey Canada event in 2018.

The NHL has since opened its own investigation into the 2018 allegations to determine to what extent players currently in the league were involved. London police, after initially closing an investigation without pressing charges, has since re-opened its investigation while law firm Henein Hutchison LLP is also looking into the incident.

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Ian Cole Investigation

In an unrelated matter, the NHL has opened an investigation into Tampa Bay Lightinging defenceman Ian Cole after he was accused of sexually assaulting and grooming a minor in a statement posted to Twitter on the weekend.

The Lightning have suspended Cole pending the results of an investigation being led by the league and Cole will be interviewed in New York on Wednesday. ESPN’s Emily Kaplan reports that Jared Maples, the NHL’s chief security officer, will conduct the interview with Cole.

Bettman said Tuesday that the league is hoping to speak to the source of the tweet as part of their investigation.

“Obviously the allegations on Twitter are disturbing but I think we need to take the appropriate time to understand exactly what happened,” he said, according to Helene Elliott of The Los Angeles Times.

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