Winterhawks slammed for cheating

The Portland Winterhawks were punished by the WHL for a series of violations of league regulations.

Portland has been suspended from participating in the first five rounds of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft and will forfeit its first-round selections in the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 drafts.

The Winterhawks have been fined $200,000 and the club’s general manager and head coach Mike Johnston has been suspended for the balance of the 2012-13 season, including the playoffs.

“WHL clubs are required to fully disclose all commitments they make to a player in the WHL standard player agreement,” WHL commissioner Ron Robison said in a press release. “Our independent investigation in this case revealed there were multiple violations over an extended period for player benefits that are not permitted under WHL regulations and were not disclosed to the WHL.

“It should also be noted, through the course of the investigation there was no evidence of any payments or enhanced education benefits provided to players that would be contrary to WHL regulations, as previous media reports indicated.”

Portland knocked off the Kamloops Blazers in Game 7 of Round 2 of last season’s playoffs.


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