4 Moose Jaw Warriors players suspended for season, coach and GM for 5 games after ‘off ice incident’: WHL
The head coach and general manager of the Western Hockey League’s Moose Jaw Warriors has been sidelined along with four major junior hockey players following an investigation into an undisclosed off-ice incident while the team was in Edmonton.
The league on Friday announced the completion of an investigation into a violation of team rules and league policies and resulting sanctions against the Warriors, which include a $25,000 fine.
Moose Jaw’s four players, previously suspended indefinitely pending investigations, have now been suspended for the remainder of the WHL regular season, the league said in a press release.
The players – defender Marek Howell and forward Lynden Lakovic, 16- and 19-year-old defender Max Wanner and 21-year-old goalkeeper Connor Ungar – will need to complete further personal conduct and respect training to be reinstated by the league.
Wanner was a draft pick for the Edmonton Oilers.
Warriors head coach Mark O’Leary and general manager Jason Ripplinger were also suspended for five games for “failing to provide the appropriate oversight and oversight needed to maintain a safe and positive environment for players.” , especially when traveling,” the league said in its Friday press release.
The league has released few details about the incident, saying only that it was “an off-ice incident during a team road trip in Edmonton” in February.
The Warriors played the Oil Kings on February 3 in Edmonton.
Following notification of the incident, WHL’s security network — which consists of liaison officers assigned to each club — conducted a preliminary review and then hired an independent third party to investigate, the league’s press release said.
Edmonton and Moose Jaw police were also notified, but the Edmonton Police Service said the incident was not criminal, according to the release.
The WHL said that while the players’ conduct was not found to be criminal, it did violate team and league rules set forth in their Conduct Policy, which includes guidelines in five areas:
Abuse, bullying, harassment and bullying.
Social media and networks.
diversity and inclusion.
Disciplinary action for violations may vary as outlined in league policies and regulations.
The league said Friday it would not provide any further information on the incident “out of respect for the privacy of everyone involved.”
A statement from the Warriors said they accept the sanctions and accept full responsibility for policy violations.
“With the support of the WHL, the Warriors are fully committed to learning from this incident and will take the necessary steps to improve safety going forward,” it said.
James Gallo, the Warriors’ communications officer, directed further inquiries to the Western Hockey League.
Edmonton Oil Kings spokesman Andrew Peard also said the WHL will be handling media inquiries about the incident.
The WHL has not responded to multiple requests for comment.