The Portland Winterhawks just got a body blow from the Western Hockey League. The WHL levied a $200,000 fine, took away the team’s first round draft picks for the next 5 years, and suspended coach Mike Johnston for the rest of the season. The league did not detail the violations but the Winterhawks said in a statement posted on its website that the sanctions were for actions including:
- A 2009 player contract that included flights for a player’s family and a summer training program
- Providing seven players’ families with flights to the Portland area
- Providing a cell phone for its team captain for a period of three seasons
Johnston said the sanctions were extreme:
After fully cooperating with the league’s investigation, we were extremely surprised at the excessive nature of the sanctions and we don’t feel they are in line with the scope of the violations we were found to have committed.
Are you a Portland Winterhawks fan? What is your reaction to these sanctions?