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Niagara IceDogs face hefty fine by OHL

A fine of $250,000 and the loss of two first round draft picks is the penalty for the Niagara IceDogs
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File photo. Tony Saxon/Village Media

The Ontario Hockey League’s Niagara IceDogs were fined by the league on Friday and also lost a pair of draft picks following an investigation.

The team has been fined $250,000 and the league has taken away the IceDogs first round picks in the 2019 and 2021 OHL Priority Selection as the team has violated “certain league player-recruitment policies.”

The OHL had law firm Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP investigate.

“The league 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,” OHL Commissioner David Branch said in a prepared statement. “In order to maintain the integrity of this player experience and competitiveness within the league, it is critical that all clubs operate within the league recruitment guidelines. When a club ignores these guidelines, significant sanctions are required.”

The team issued a statement in response and said it plans to appeal.

“All current Niagara IceDogs players and hockey operations staff have no involvement in the sanctions assessed today by the Ontario Hockey League. An appeal will be filed.”

The team also said no further comment will be made.