The Ontario Hockey League has fined the Windsor Spitfires $400,000 and have taken away three 1st round draft selections and two 2nd round draft selections from the Spit after the league concluded two investigations into recruitment rule violations this week.
“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”, stated OHL Commissioner David Branch in release to media on Friday.
“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 [OHL] 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,” said Branch.
“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.”
In addition to the hefty fine, the Windsor Spitfires will be forced to 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.