Flyers news

Carter Hart, Hockey Canada sexual assault case back in court Aug. 13

No trial start date has been set; the Flyers' goalie has been away from the team since January

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The trial in the sexual assault case involving Carter Hart and four other players from the 2018 Canadian world junior team is not expected to begin anytime soon.

A trial start date was not set in court Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Ontario superior court told NBC Sports Philadelphia. The case will be back in criminal assignment court Aug. 13, the same day Hart turns 26 years old.

As reported in April, it does not appear that the trial will begin until after the 2024-25 NHL season is underway. TSN correspondent Rick Westhead reported Tuesday that, "because of court backlogs, it's doubtful the Hockey Canada trial will begin before late April 2025 at the earliest."

The Flyers open training camp in September and the regular season in October. An NHL regular season typically ends around mid-April. The possibility of Hart returning to the ice at any point next season is appearing more and more unlikely.

The goaltender is a restricted free agent this offseason. It's uncertain if the Flyers will need to extend Hart a qualifying offer this month to retain his rights as the legal process plays out in court. According to a source, the Flyers have not made a decision on that front as they wait for direction from the NHL.

Hart has been away from the team since Jan. 23, when he requested and was granted an indefinite leave of absence.

On Feb. 5, London, Ontario police announced it had charged Hart, the Flames' Dillon Dube, the Devils' Cal Foote and Michael McLeod and former NHLer Alex Formenton with sexual assault, stemming from a June 2018 incident.

A week after Hart left the Flyers, his legal representation stated that "he is innocent and will provide a full response to this false allegation in the proper forum, a court of law."

At Danny Briere's end-of-the-season press conference April 19, the general manager did not have any update on Hart's status. The Flyers plan to go into camp with Samuel Ersson and Ivan Fedotov forming their goaltending tandem.

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