More explosive and shocking allegations against junior hockey in newly filed lawsuit

“These are systemic issues that have been in place for quite a while. There has been a good deal of knowledge in the hockey world that abuses are taking place. And to this day, we have the leagues being very slow to respond to these types of abuse," says the lawyer representing the plaintiffs
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Note: There are allegations made in the following story that may disturb some readers.

Just three days after a former major junior hockey player alleged that he was forced to do cocaine in a bathroom as a rookie with the Kitchener Rangers in 2016, two former CHL players have launched a class-action lawsuit alleging that players aged 15 to 17 were, “routinely victims to hazing, bullying, physical and verbal harassment, physical assault, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.”

The lawsuit, launched in Toronto on Thursday afternoon against the Canadian Hockey League, the Western League, the Ontario League and the Quebec League, was brought forth by Daniel Carcillo and Garrett Taylor. And the allegations are explosive and disturbing. According the lawsuit, players in the class were, among other things, forced to masturbate in front of teammates and coaches and forced to sexually assault teammates, to consume saliva, urine, semen and feces of other players and to sexually engage with animals. It is also alleged that players had heavy objects tied to their genitals, had their genitals dipped in irritants and toxic liquids and had objects such as hockey sticks, brooms and food forced into their anuses. It is also alleged that players were forced to consume large amounts of alcohol and illicit drugs.

None of the allegations has been proven in court.

Carcillo played four seasons for the Sarnia Sting and Mississauga IceDogs of the OHL before going on to a 10-year professional career that included a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2012-13. Since his retirement, Carcillo has been an outspoken advocate for players’ rights and mental health. Taylor played two seasons in the Western League for the Lethbridge Hurricanes and the Prince Albert Raiders before embarking on a pro career that lasted just 10 games.

In the statement of claim, Carcillo alleges that he was subject to, “almost constant and repetitive abuse,” while playing for the Sting during the 2002-03 season. He also alleges that nothing was done to protect him and the other 12 rookies on the team, despite the fact that coach Jeff Perry and GM Terry Doran were aware of what was happening. The lawsuit also claims that the abuse, “left (Carcillo) permanently traumatized. He suffered severe mental health issues which were not present before the abuse he endured. He continues to suffer from these mental health issues to this day.”

Among the instances of abuse outlined by Carcillo in the statement of claim were the following:

* During showers, rookies were required sit in the middle of the shower room naked while the older players urinated, spat saliva and tobacco chew on them. At least once, the head coach (Perry) walked into the shower room while this was occurring, laughed and walked out.

* Rookies were repetitively hit on their bare buttocks with a sawed off goalie stick, developing large welts and open sores. The injuries were so bad that they couldn’t sit down, even while attending local high school classes. They advised team staff of this abuse, which did not stop.

* On road trips, rookies would be stripped naked and sent into the bus bathroom, eight at a time. The older players would tape the boys’ clothes up in a ball, which were thrown into the bathroom. The boys were not allowed out until they were dressed, which could take hours. Older players would pour chew, saliva, and urine on them through the bathroom vents. This took place in front of coaches and trainers.

* Rookies had to bob for apples in a cooler filled with the older players’ urine, saliva and other bodily fluids.

* The older players would put the rookies in a laundry bin on wheels, four at a time. They would run the laundry bin into a wall as fast as it could go. Players suffered injuries including being knocked unconscious. It was called the “Rookie Rocket.”

* Older players would organize orgies at house parties. Rookies were required to take part in sexual acts while the older players watched and took part.

* The head coach walked in on a naked rookie taped to a table with his buttocks in the air. Older players were whipping him with a belt. The head coach took part, whipped the child and laughed while the boy cried.

* The head coach, assistant coaches and league officials knew of the abuse.

* An informal investigation took place by OHL and/or CHL agents, but no findings were released, abusers were not punished and no steps were taken to address the abuse; and,

* Racist, sexist and homophobic slurs were repeatedly directed at rookie players and were used on a daily basis.

The lawsuit also alleges that Taylor suffered abuse as a rookie with the Lethbridge Hurricanes in 2008-09. Taylor also claims the coach (Mike Dyck) and team officials (Roy Stasiuk was the GM) – were aware of the abuse and did nothing to prevent it. Dyck is now the head coach of the Vancouver Giants and was tabbed as the head coach for Canada’s team in the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup under-18 tournament that was cancelled by the COVID-19 pandemic. The lawsuit alleges that the abuse, “left (Taylor) permanently traumatized. He suffered severe mental health issues which were not present before the abuse he endured. He was hospitalized for a lengthy period after his time in the WHL. He continues to suffer from the psychological and physical injuries he suffered while playing in the WHL.”

Among the instances of abuse laid out by Taylor in the statement of claim are the following:

* During team practices, the head coach took Taylor aside and demanded that he fight other 16 or 17 year old players in order to increase the “intensity” level of the team. This took place numerous times. Taylor was seriously concussed during one fight in practice and he and other team members suffered other injuries during such fights.

* The head coach provided the team credit card to one of the older players to buy alcohol for the team "rookie party". The 16- and 17-year-old rookies were required to dress up in women’s clothing and were forced to consume large amounts of alcohol, to the point of blacking out and vomiting.

* When Taylor was “sent down” to the Jr. A team in Canmore after the first two games of the 2009-2010 season, he received what is euphemistically referred to throughout the Leagues as the “garbage bag treatment.” The team and staff were on the team bus waiting to leave for a road trip. Immediately before leaving, Taylor was told in front of the entire team and staff that he was being cut from the team. He was told in a humiliating fashion to get off the bus, to retrieve his bag and to report to Canmore. He was not given any money or any further direction. His parents were not notified.

* Racist, sexist and homophobic slurs were repeatedly directed at rookie players and were used on a daily basis.

“The focus of the case is a failure to protect, to oversee the children in your care,” said James Sayce, the lead lawyer for the class. “These are systemic issues that have been in place for quite a while. There has been a good deal of knowledge in the hockey world that abuses are taking place. And to this day, we have the leagues being very slow to respond to these types of abuse. And these stories keep coming out. And the reason these stories keep coming out is some survivors are strong enough to tell their stories and go against certain codes, certain practices that are ordinary in hockey."

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