Nov 29, 2012, 11:25 PM EST
On Wednesday the WHL Portland Winterhawks were hammered by the league for a “series of player benefit violations which have occurred over the past four seasons.”
Portland won’t be allowed to make a selection in the first five rounds of the 2013 bantam draft and they will forfeit their first-round picks in the following four drafts.
On top of that the organization has been fined $200,000 and GM/head coach Mike Johnston has been suspended for the rest of the 2012-13 campaign, including the playoffs.
Johnston said that he was “extremely surprised at the excessive nature of the sanctions,” but WHL commissioner Ron Robison defended the league’s decision in a statement released Thursday.
The WHL asked PricewaterhouseCoopers to launch an independent investigation into the Winterhawks after the league learned that the team had contravened WHL Regulations by agreeing to an undisclosed player agreement. PricewaterhouseCoopers determined that there were 54 violations with 14 players over the past five seasons.
“We believe the sanctions are not excessive given the repeated and systemic nature of the violations,” Robison said. “The independent investigation discovered an unprecedented number of violations.
“It is the responsibility of each WHL Club and General Manager to be fully aware of the WHL Regulations and to be in compliance at all times. These sanctions are necessary in order to protect the overall welfare and integrity of our League and to preserve a level playing field for all of our member Clubs and our players.”
The Winterhawks claim the violations included providing flights for family members of their players, giving their team captain a cell phone, and paying for two players’ one-week summer training regimen twice in the last five years.
(Photo courtesy of Don Healy, Regina Leader-Post)
Dec 5, 2013, 1:07 AM EST
The Calgary defenseman was sidelined since Oct. 21.
Dec 4, 2013, 11:55 PM EST
He notched a career-high four points Wednesday.
Dec 4, 2013, 11:29 PM EST
Head coach Patrick Roy hasn’t been happy with his work.
Dec 4, 2013, 11:03 PM EST
Detroit sees end of four-game winning streak.
Dec 4, 2013, 10:42 PM EST
Joining his Buffalo teammate Nikita Zadorov.
Dec 4, 2013, 10:16 PM EST
Montreal gets seventh win in eight games.
Dec 4, 2013, 9:24 PM EST
Dec 4, 2013, 9:05 PM EST
A handsome salary.
Dec 4, 2013, 8:30 PM EST
Rare good injury news for the Red Wings.
Dec 4, 2013, 7:12 PM EST
That’s almost $15 million in cap hits on the shelf.
Dec 4, 2013, 6:42 PM EST
Martin Marincin, Corey Potter and Anton Lander get called up.
Dec 4, 2013, 5:20 PM EST
“You’ve got to look at it: Who are your assets?”
Dec 4, 2013, 5:09 PM EST
Hard lines, Team Finland.
Dec 4, 2013, 4:37 PM EST
Tough blow for the reigning Vezina winner.
Dec 4, 2013, 4:14 PM EST
And as a bonus, their names rhyme.
Dec 4, 2013, 3:33 PM EST
Neither he nor Michal Handzus will suit up in Minnesota.
Dec 4, 2013, 3:07 PM EST
He’s missed the last three games.
Dec 4, 2013, 2:46 PM EST
That picture was not taken today.
Dec 4, 2013, 1:46 PM EST
With a special shout-out to Austria’s 1927 European championship team.
Dec 4, 2013, 1:39 PM EST
“Frankly, in my mind we’re playing him too much.”
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