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Flyers, Briere Left In Dark On Carter Hart Situation

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Philadelphia Flyers GM Danny Briere was unable to provide any information regarding Hockey Canada and goaltender Carter Hart on Wednesday. (Photo: AP)

Philadelphia Flyers general manager Danny Briere met with members of the media on Wednesday morning for his midseason press conference, opening with a statement on goaltender Carter Hart, who took a leave of absence from the team on Tuesday.

Briere acknowledged the Hockey Canada reports that came out earlier in the morning but made it explicitly clear that no comment will be made by him or the Flyers until the results of the investigation are released.

“We are aware of this morning’s press reports on a very serious matter,” Briere opened, reading a prepared statement. “We will respond appropriately when the outcomes of the investigations are made public. The NHL has been very clear that teams should refer all investigation-related questions to them. In the meantime, members of the organization, including Flyers players, will not be commenting any further.”

“That’s all we can say at the moment, unfortunately,” the Flyers GM concluded.

In addition to Hart, Calgary Flames forward Dillon Dube, New Jersey Devils Cal Foote and Michael McLeod, and HC Ambri-Piotta forward Alex Formenton have all requested and been granted leaves of absence at various points in the week.

All five were members of the 2018 Hockey Canada team.

Briere did, however, reiterate his and the team’s confidence in rookie goaltender Sam Ersson with Hart out indefinitely.

“What I can tell you is Sam Ersson has played extremely well; has earned the right to more ice time. We’re excited by our goaltending. . . especially the way Sam played and came up and won some big games for us.”

“We’ll have to protect [Ersson] as much as we can. He’s still developing. He’s still a good young goalie,” Briere added. 

Briere and the organization also feel that recent call-up Cal Petersen can give them stability in the net in the interim. 

“Cal came in the [Ivan Provorov] trade. . . We felt that Felix [Sandstrom] and Sam and Cal were all good options. They were all goalies that can come and play some games, as well,” Briere said. “That was the belief.”

Given the legal sensitivity of the situation, no further comments will be made by the Flyers on Hockey Canada or Carter Hart’s status until everything has been completely resolved. The same goes for us here at Philly Hockey Now.

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