According to the Finnish news outlet MTV, Philadelphia Flyers’ forward Jori Lehtera has been linked to a drug ring in his home country of Finland. At this point in time, Lehtera has denied having any involvement, he has not been arrested, and there have not been any charges filed against him.
So far, thanks to the MTV article and The Athletic’s Alexander Appleyard, this is what we know:
- Lehtera is one of 23 individuals under investigation.
- Seven people have been arrested for the drug bust.
- People were arrested at his cottage this summer, even though he wasn’t there at the time.
- $750,000 worth of jewelry and gold were seized during the raid.
- The drug ring has been linked to over 2 kilos of cocaine being sold in Tampere restaurants since January of 2017, amphetamines, and performance-enhancing drugs.
- If found guilty for his level of involvement with the drug ring, Lehtera will be fined or be given, at most, two years imprisonment.
If it turns out Lehtera had a hand in the drug ring, it will most likely have an impact on his contract with the Flyers. He only has one more year left on his deal with a cap hit of $4.7 million, but such a situation could lead to termination of his contract.
The Flyers released the following statement on the matter on Tuesday afternoon:
Per GM Ron Hextall:— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) September 26, 2018
“We have spoken with Jori Lehtera and the league office regarding the reports out of Finland, and will reserve any further comment on the matter at this time.”
Most Flyers’ fans don’t want to see Lehtera on the team, but this isn’t the way we should want to see the forward leave the team (if, of course, he is found guilty). Needless to say, this is a unique situation and it’ll be interesting to see how the team handles it moving forward.