I know it’s not Kitchener, but somewhere, Matt Slovin is smiling. This. Stuff. Happens.
The OHL laid a remarkably severe fine on the Windsor Spitfires for violating the League’s Player Benefit and Recruitment Rules and Policies (seems like a bit of a redundant title, but whatever). I’ll let them tell you about it.
“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”, concluded Branch.
There are no real specifics so far, but needless to say, the Spits were giving money (and likely lots of it) and/or other benefits to top-end players to get them to choose their team, or to stay with their team.
So what was the penalty? Ohhh, no big deal, just huge sums of cash and important draft picks.
Specifically, $400,000, and they lose their first round selection in the OHL Priority Selection in the years 2013, 2014, 2016, and second round selections for the years 2015 and 2017.
Seems to me that, like Roger Goddell and the “bounty system” scandal in the NFL, those in charge want to nip this in the bud and let teams know they aren’t fooling around.
That, or they want to be perceived that way while they carry on and turn a blind eye.
I’d say both options are equally likely.