Warning: Story contains graphic content
Former CHL players Daniel Carcillo and Garrett Taylor initiated a proposed class-action lawsuit against the Canadian Hockey League and its three major junior leagues.
In the proposed lawsuit, Carcillo and Taylor allege widespread abuse, hazing, and bullying of underage players by senior players, team staff, and coaches.
"Survivors of such abuse have come forward and continue to come forward to this day," the statement of claim reads, according to TSN's Rick Westhead. "However, the defendants have stubbornly ignored or failed to reasonably address this institutionalized and systemic abuse.
"Rather than respond to or make meaningful attempts to prevent such abuse, the defendants have instead perpetuated a toxic environment that condones violent, discriminatory, racist, sexualized, and homophobic conduct, including physical and sexual assault, on the underage players they are obligated to protect."
In the 46-page document filed in Ontario Superior Court in Toronto on Thursday, Carcillo and Taylor described multiple alleged incidents. Those include players urinating and spitting on rookies in showers while a head coach laughed it off, and first-year players being struck on their bare buttocks with a sawed-off goalie stick.
The allegations have not been proven, nor has the CHL responded to Thursday's legal action.
The proposed lawsuit is seeking damages for "negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and a declaration that the teams and the leagues are vicariously liable for abuse perpetrated by their employees and players," according to The Canadian Press.
"It is on behalf of underage minors who suffered violent hazing, physical and sexual assault, and psychological trauma while playing major junior hockey," Carcillo wrote in a statement Thursday.
"I believe this case will give those who were abused a chance to be heard," he continued. "In my experience, sharing stories of abuse is part of the healing process. It allows a person to take the power back. I also believe that this lawsuit will create real, positive change in Canadian junior hockey. This type of abuse has nothing to do with the sport and it needs to stop."
Carcillo, who twice won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks, played three OHL seasons with the Sarnia Sting and the Mississauga IceDogs. He retired from the NHL after nine campaigns in 2015.
Taylor spent parts of two seasons in the WHL with the Lethbridge Hurricanes and the Prince Albert Raiders.
The OHL, Waterloo Regional Police, and the Kitchener Rangers are investigating recent allegations made by former Ranger Eric Guest. He said a veteran player forced him and a young teammate to do cocaine when Guest was 16.