Billy and Joey Burke issue statement
Niagara IceDogs associate coach Jody Hull, left, ran practice Thursday after head coach Billy Burke, right was suspended along with general manager Joey Burke for two years Wednesday. Photo by: OHL IMAGES.
Former Niagara IceDogs coach Billy Burke and former general manager Joey Burke issued a statement Thursday after being indefinitely suspended and, together with the team, fined a combined $150,000 Wednesday after an investigation was launched into their overall conduct following the league receiving transcripts WhatsApp conversation last month.
Joey and Billy Burke will have the opportunity to apply for reinstatement no sooner than June 1, 2024. At that time, the OHL commissioner will assess whether they have successfully completed counselling and education to ensure that there will be no additional violations of league rules, policies, or expected conduct.
Meanwhile, the IceDogs were back on the ice for practice Thursday after a scheduled day off Wednesday following a game in Sudbury Tuesday night.
Associate coach Jody Hull and assistant coach Sean Teakle ran the practice.
Hull said he has no idea what will happen going forward as far as the coaching situation.
“I really haven’t gotten any answers at all. I can’t really answer anything because I don’t know yet,” Hull said.
“We’re kind of going along status quo per se. I haven’t heard anything either way.”
Hull said Thursday was the first opportunity to talk to the team.
“We haven’t talked as a group because no one was around yesterday,” he said. “We’ll deal with that in due time.”
The IceDogs, who were eliminated from the playoffs earlier this week, have four regular season games remaining. They play next Saturday in Peterborough before hosting Kingston Sunday at 2 p.m.
Hull acknowledged the situation is far from ideal.
“It’s tough as a player, especially at this level, but you just have to do your best,” he said. “That’s all you can ask the guys to do and manage these last four games the best we can.”
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