Police in Sweden still have not spoken to former NHLer Andre Deveaux concerning his alleged on-ice attack on another player last week, but his lawyer claims to know where Deveaux is. And that lawyer just happens to be the most high-profile defense attorney in the country, one who at one time represented WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on his sexual molestation charges in Sweden.
Deveaux, who has been arrested in absentia in Helsingborg, has hired Leif Silbersky, a Stockholm lawyer who has gained a reputation for handling high-profile cases in that country. Reached at his office in Stockholm by thn.com, Silbersky did not want to discuss the case. “I’m not going to tell you anything,” Silbersky said. “Call me after Easter. Goodbye.”
Silbersky did, however, tell the Helsingborgs Dagblad newspaper that he knows where his client is and Deveaux will face his accusers. “My client is prepared to provide information to police and prosecutors,” Silbersky told the newspaper. “Just call me and we’ll arrange it.”
Silbersky has represented a large range of high-profile defendants over the years, from aspiring politicians to performers to a Swedish coach who was involved in a bar brawl. He is no stranger to attention, having authored a number of Swedish crime novels and been an expert on Swedish TV during the O.J. Simpson trial. He was Assange's lawyer early in his criminal process, but was replaced by another lawyer later.
The Swedish Ice Hockey Federation, meanwhile, has given Deveaux a week to prepare his case. It was originally thought the federation would announce Deveaux’s suspension this week.
Deveaux, a veteran of 31 NHL games with the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers, has been arrested, but has not yet been charged with assault, largely because he has not turned himself in to police. His troubles stem from an alleged on-ice attack of an opponent during the warm-ups of a playoff game last week. Deveaux, who played for Rogle, is seen on video to be two-handing his opponent to the back of the legs, then jumping on his back. The victim of the attack, Per Helmersson of Vasteras, was able to play in the game and the rest of the series, which was won by Rogle. That gave Rogle the Allsvenseken championship and a promotion to the Swedish Elite League for next season.
Deveaux, who was hit from behind by Helmersson in the previous game and had to leave the game, was uncertain whether he’d be able to play in the game. But after being seen on video speaking to Rogle assistant coach Mikeal Gath – who claims he was simply told by Deveaux that he was fit to play – Deveaux is seen on video making a bee-line for the unsuspecting Helmersson before chopping the backs of his legs.
The one question that seems to be on everyone’s mind, aside from Deveaux’s whereabouts, is whether he was playing with a concussion. Deveaux was questionable for the game and Rogle officials, who have not returned repeated calls from thn.com, have not yet explained whether or not Deveaux was cleared to play. Rogle’s GM Anders Karlsson said after the game that it was possible Deveaux had a concussion and that he was questionable for the next game.