Saying it found “no evidence to substantiate” anonymous Twitter allegations of sexual abuse, the NHL tonight concluded its investigation of former Avalanche defenseman Ian Cole and his team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, reinstated him as a player after suspending him pending the investigation.
In its statement, the NHL said “The investigation of the allegations, which were made anonymously in a social media post on Oct. 7, was conducted by the League’s Security and Legal departments.
The investigation included two separate interviews with Mr. Cole as well as interviews with NHL club personnel and other individuals with potentially relevant information. Further, the investigation included a detailed review of on-line and social media, public data, and court records and law enforcement checks. In addition, despite attempts by the League to make contact with the anonymous source of the social media post, those efforts were unsuccessful.
On the basis of the foregoing, the National Hockey League now considers this matter closed.”
In its own strongly worded statement, the NHLPA said, in part, “Players should never be subject to suspension or discipline in response to unsubstantiated and anonymous accusations.”
Cole, 33, played for the Avalanche from 2018-21.