Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar during warmups
Photo credit: Sportsnet

MAJOR: All-Star Defenseman To Miss 2026 Olympics Due To Ongoing Criminal Case

Published February 5, 2024 at 5:25 PM
BY GRAHAM MONTGOMERY
     
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The 2026 winter games are approaching faster then it may seem. The NHL will be visiting the events for the first time since 2014. However, one key player will not be eligible if current restrictions are upheld.

Makar To Miss 2026 Olympics Due To 2018 Hockey Canada Investigation



The London police held a press conference today to discuss the 2018 Hockey Canada investigation. As part of the event, they released a formal statement regarding the status of other players from the team. Senior Athletic writer Ian Mendes reported the key parts of the statement on X today, noting that players from that 2018 WJC team continue to be suspended by Hockey Canada.

«Pending the completion of the appeal process, all players from the 2018 National Junior Team remain suspended by Hockey Canada, and are ineligible to play, coach, officiate or volunteer with Hockey Canada-sanctioned programs.»

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Backlog To Cause Key NHL Players To Miss 2026 Olympics



Fans have correctly pointed out that this would mean players such as Cale Makar will not be eligible to play for Canada at the 2026 Winter Games should the trial have not reached a conclusion by then.

So Makar may not play in the 2026 Olympics cuz of the ongoing criminal investigation


It seems that that will likely be the case as well as there have already been reports about when this case will go to trial. Due to a backlog in Ontario's justice system, the Hockey Canada case is unlikely to reach trial before 2026.

Lawyers who specialize in criminal sexual assault cases have told me a trial in this case is unlikely before 2026.


Hopefully, the trial will take place earlier than expected or the other players including Makar will be given an exception so that they can play in the 2026 games. For many of the players on the 2018 WJC team, it may be their only chance to represent Canada at the Olympics. By the 2030 games, these players will be entering their 30s and many will be past their prime, less likely to be chosen for the team. Hopefully that is not the case for Cale Makar.
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