The Canadian Hockey League has appointed an independent review panel to look at current policies into hazing, abuse, harassment and bullying, as well as the allegation that players do not feel comfortable reporting these behaviors.

The panel will be chaired by former Premier of New Brunswick Camille Theriault, as well as Sheldon Kennedy and Daniele Sauvageau.

“The CHL is committed to the 1,400 young men who play in our league and the protection of our players has been and will always be our primary concern,” said CHL President Dan MacKenzie.

“This is why we have assembled this Independent Review Panel to review the effectiveness of our current policies, player experience programs and procedures for reporting off-ice misconduct, to help ensure that we are providing the safest environment free of hazing, abuse, harassment and bullying,” Mackenzie added.

Over the last 20 years the CHL and its member leagues the WHL, OHL, and QMHL have made a number of advancements to Players First programs including extensive policies and practices to educate players and team staff on respect in sport, prevention of hazing, abuse, harassment and bullying, along with introducing a  mental health program, Talk Today, in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association.

The goal is to have the report of the Independent Review Panel completed in time for the start of the 2020-21 season.