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Thread: Winterhawks about to be clipped?

  1. #1

    Post Winterhawks about to be clipped?

    By Dean Millard

    This past August the Windsor Spitfires were handed a $400,000 fine for recruiting violations. A month later it was reduced to a $250,000 fine, as well as, some draft pick relief.

    The Pipeline Show has learned from multiple sources in the WHL that the Portland Winterhawks could be the next CHL club to face sanctions for player recruitment.

    The first question we have is who is doing the investigation? Is it a WHL hired investigator? The OHL has a "Director of Security and Enforcement" who was the lead man on the Spitfires' case.

    There has been talk for years about certain teams and their route to success. Some of it for sure is sour grapes, but you have to think where there's smoke, there's fire and some teams in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL will be exposed for breaking the rules.

    But not every powerhouse that is backed by big bucks should be cast in the same light. That would be discounting brilliant managerial work by some who simply make good hockey decisions, or have people who do that for them.

    In the case of Portland, here is their latest big recruit and a few situations that some might be suspicious of, and reasons why there might not be anything wrong with it at all.

    Seth Jones joined the Hawks this year after a trade with Everett during the 2012 post season.
    - Did the team speak to Jones before the trade?
    - Did he simply realize that the Winterhawks have developed some pretty good blueliners lately?
    - Did they offer him more money to play in Portland after the trade?

    Depending on who you talk to, Jones is a stud no matter where he plays. Some wonder why Everett wasn't his choice as it didn't seem to hurt Ryan Murray who went second overall. But a case can be made for the likes of Joe Morrow and Derrick Pouliot in Portland. As for his NCAA options, he had narrowed his choices down to the University of North Dakota. Formerly the Fighting Sioux. UND is an unreal program and playing there is never a wrong choice, but Portland isn't exactly second banana. They've been to the final, two straight years and some (like me) have them getting back there again this year. Maybe this has nothing to do with Jones, and he just saw the writing on the wall that Portland were going to be good, especially with him and jumped on board.

    You can bring up other players if you want, Nino Niederreiter, Sven Baertschi ... is Portland the new Swiss bank account? Or did their scouts do a great job tapping a rarely tapped market?

    They were in the wrong by inviting "RED 23" otherwise known as Alesio Bertaggia, to a camp at one point and were dealt with according to the WHL. How they were dealt with is a mystery. Bertaggia for what it's worth is now in Brandon and has 72 points in 82 games with the Wheat Kings.

    Trust me, bringing any of this up is not fun, I know some scouts with the organization and they do a terrific job, so I'm hoping this doesn't taint the job they've done. But if there is anything wrong it is surely well above them on the food chain.

    It's long been a complaint from some south of the border that CHL teams offer more then just scholarship money which in the case of the Spitfires wasn't identified as the case of violation.

    Hopefully if there is an unlevel playing field it's stopped and becomes a game of drafting and developing, rather then writing a cheque.

    Emails to the WHL have yet to be returned.

    http://thepipelineshow.blogspot.ca/2...e-clipped.html

  2. #2

    Default rumours

    A story with very few facts makes you wonder what purpose it serves.
    GO WARRIORS GO

  3. #3

    Post Ouch!

    As a result of a series of player benefit violations which have occurred over the past four seasons, WHL Commissioner Ron Robison has suspended the Portland Winterhawks from participating in the first five rounds of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft and the forfeiture of their first round selections in the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 WHL Bantam Drafts. Should the first round selection in 2014 not be available due to a conditional trade, Portland will surrender their second and third round picks in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft. The WHL also announced the Portland Winterhawks have been fined $200,000 and Winterhawks General Manager and Head Coach Mike Johnston has been suspended for the balance of the 2012-13 season, including the 2013 WHL Playoffs.

  4. #4

    Default overkill

    The violations were for flying in kids parents supplying the captain with a cell phone paying for a couple players to go to summer training camps. An appeal will probably reduce it quite a bit. No money was given to players or parents just some minor perks that werent reported and were against the rules. More of show for NCAA and CHL than anything.
    GO WARRIORS GO

  5. #5

    Default

    I guess here is the proof now

    http://www.tsn.ca/chl/story/?id=410468

  6. #6

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    If that is the proof they are talking about what else is there? Could be that's all but I have a hard time with it being just a camp or two and a little shuttle service. Even if that is all tell me why they should not be receiving something besides a wrist slap? Which other market fan or ownership groups wants them to have an advantage because they don't want to play by the rules that they all agreed to? I bet the small market teams are jumping up and down shouting it is unfair that Portland be punished. Not. It seems like the smaller markets have enough of a problem keeping up with the legitimate competition with staff, facilities, large market exposure, and all the other legit facets that go into making a WHL team. While it may not be physically harming to the players it seems to me this is like a teams version of a severe steroid use and should be punished as such.

  7. #7

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    the penalties and sanctions dont appear to fit the crime- i heard rumours that the Winterhawks pay their Euros - is this allowed? another rumour is that Winterhawk players get free tattoos because they have a sponsor - - the CHL players should start a union now and get a decent compensation for their talents - The WHL should be ashamed of giving out hefty fines and suspensions and crippling a franchise for a decade by taking away their draft picks ...for supplying their captain with a cell phone ....what a crock of sh@t!!!

  8. #8

    Default

    USC and OSU got off easy I guess. I think it would be wise to give the Captain a cell phone seeing that they have to do the bed checks. The rest is deserved but pretty harsh. Good luck Hawks. Maybe the WHL can kill off another franchise that's not the Hitmen.
    The only thing better than a Cane's win is a Tiger's loss.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default

    I suspect there is more to this and I expect to see a bit more info trickle out over the next days.

    It is illegal to compensate any player, or provide incentives over and above weekly stipends and billeting. Paying the bills for development camps is illegal as well. Giving money to euros, or to their agents to acquire their rights/favours is very illegal and extremely frowned upon. I have a suspicion that the real story will be along these lines. - which really is tampering

    I agree it seems harsh, but I suspect that this is the tip of what could be a very messy iceberg. That said: I expect an appeal and a reduction of the extent of the sanctions. One thing is for sure.. the league wants to send a brutal message to those franchises thinking of doing the same or similar.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dondo View Post
    I suspect there is more to this and I expect to see a bit more info trickle out over the next days.

    It is illegal to compensate any player, or provide incentives over and above weekly stipends and billeting. Paying the bills for development camps is illegal as well. Giving money to euros, or to their agents to acquire their rights/favours is very illegal and extremely frowned upon. I have a suspicion that the real story will be along these lines. - which really is tampering

    I agree it seems harsh, but I suspect that this is the tip of what could be a very messy iceberg. That said: I expect an appeal and a reduction of the extent of the sanctions. One thing is for sure.. the league wants to send a brutal message to those franchises thinking of doing the same or similar.

    I agree with you.The really greasy stuff will float to the surface over the next few months. The iceberg analogy is great as we only see about 10% of what truly went on. Good job WHL.

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