OHL ANNOUNCES FINES / SANCTIONS
For Immediate ReleaseFriday, August 10th, 2012 Toronto, ON -
The Ontario Hockey League, (OHL), has levied fines totaling $400,000.00 against the Windsor Spitfires Hockey Club and taken away three 1st round draft selections and two 2nd round draft selections from the Spitfires.
"In 2009 the Board of Governors of the Ontario Hockey League developed the OHL ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM which is designed to address and attempt to eliminate violations of the RULES and impose appropriate penalties if violations occur.
The enforcement process is an integral part of the process to ensure integrity and fair play among the MEMBER TEAMS. One of the fundamental principles of the enforcement process is to ensure that those MEMBER TEAMS that are abiding by the rules are not disadvantaged by their commitment to compliance", stated OHL Commissioner David Branch. "The League conducted two separate investigations led by our Director of Security and Enforcement, and in considering all the facts, I was persuaded that the Windsor Spitfires Hockey Club violated the League's Player Benefit and Recruitment Rules and Policies.
While the penalties may appear to be severe, the League and its Member Teams recognize for any such violations of our Recruitment / Benefit Rules and Policies, we must send a strong message to preserve the integrity of our League", concluded Branch. In addition to the fine, the Windsor Spitfires shall forfeit 1st round selections in the annual OHL Priority Selection in the years 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2nd round selections in the OHL Priority Selection Process for the years 2015 and 2017. ###
This, as far as I know, is completely out of left field, I don't think anybody ever expected the OLH to actually do anything about any of it's clubs that are widely considered to be dirty, with varying degrees of proof, but this is pretty huge, the OHL itself acknowledging at least the existence of dirty dealings in the OHL. It may be a one off thing, or it could lead to a lot more of these, if the OHL finally decides to kind of clean house. Something to keep an eye on at least.
In regards to Michigan Hockey, who knows if it will help a ton, but it certainly doesn't hurt, one more strike against the OHL. If this happens to a few more clubs and the illegal stuff gets reduced considerably, that might help Michigan quite a bit. At the very least we'll find out what happens if you put NCAA and OHL on a more level playing field.