Updated: 11:45 a.m.
Flyers forward Jori Lehtera was charged Monday for allegedly obtaining and possessing cocaine in his native Finland last summer, according to a report by a Finnish newspaper Aamulehti.
Per the report, Lehtera is not due in court at this time but prosecutors are seeking a five-month suspended sentence for the 31-year-old in his second season with the Flyers.
A section of the report states:
According to a preliminary investigation, Lehtera obtained eight grams of cocaine between early June and late July of 2018 in Tampere. According to the prosecutors he also tried to obtain one gram of cocaine in May of 2018.
Lehtera has not been accused of importing or selling the cocaine, according to the report.
He released the following statement Monday, via the Flyers:
As I have maintained from the outset, these charges against me are false and I will clear my name. I will have no further comment on the matter until that time.
Back in September, according to a separate report, Lehtera was being considered one of 23 suspects in a cocaine ring, while police "made catches" on his cottage in Finland. At that time, the NHL started its own investigation into the matter.
"I just want to say that you guys are going to see that I haven't done anything wrong," Lehtera said after practice Sept. 28.
Lehtera is currently with the Flyers on their five-game road trip, which continues Monday night in Raleigh, North Carolina, against the Hurricanes. He has served as a healthy scratch for the past six games and has played just one game since Dec. 12. On the season, he has three points in 24 games.
Set to become an unrestricted free agent during the offseason, Lehtera was acquired by the Flyers in June 2017 as part of the trade that sent Brayden Schenn to the Blues. The Flyers also received a pair of draft picks in the deal, which were used to select prospects Morgan Frost (2017 — 27th overall) and Joel Farabee (2018 — 14th overall).
Lehtera is being paid $5 million (he has $4.7 million cap hit) this season, the final year of his three-year contract originally signed with the Blues.
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