Despite being an Eastern Conference championship contender this season, the Niagara Ice Dogs are in big trouble with the Ontario Hockey League.
To confirm, the OHL has levied fines totaling $250,000 against Niagara and taken away its first-round picks at both the 2019 and 2021 priority selections draft.
According to the OHL, the sanctions follow a league-requested, third-party investigation by the law firm Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP.
The investigation has determined that Niagara violated certain player recruitment policies, according to the OHL.
OHL commissioner David Branch issued a terse statement with regards to the decision to deal out the harsh punishment to the Niagara franchise.
“The (OHL) takes our commitment to our players and their player experience very seriously, which includes ensuring a fair and competitive on-ice experience among all teams,” Branch began.
“In order to maintain the integrity of this player experience and competitiveness within the league,” Branch continued, ” it is critical that all clubs operate within the league recruitment guidelines. When a club ignores these guidelines, significant sanctions are required.”