IceDogs regain draft pick via appeal
Niagara IceDogs owner Darren DeDobbelaer. Photo by: BILL POTRECZ.
The Niagara IceDogs have recouped their first-round pick for the 2024 Ontario Priority Selection following an appeal, according to a statement released by the club Friday.
“The appeal panel has allowed us to receive our first-round pick back for the 2024 OHL Priority Selection. The other matters of the appeal were agreed to by the appeal panel,” read the statement released by IceDogs owner Darren DeDobbelaer. “Culture does not change overnight, it takes time. Therefore, I will do my best to continue to be a good partner to the 19 other teams and continue to build back the culture of the IceDogs here in Niagara, both on and off the ice. I will always take full responsibility for what happens in this organization.”
The OHL came down hard on the IceDogs in May after investigating allegations that certain IceDog players had violated league policies including the Maltreatment, Bullying and Harassment Protection and Prevention Policy and the league’s Code of Conduct.
DeDobbelaer was suspended for two seasons as general manager and captain Landon Cato and goaltender Joshua Rosenzweig were banned from the league. The organization was also fined $100,000 and forfeited the 2024 pick.
The league retained an independent third-party investigator to conduct a thorough investigation. At that time, the Commissioner advised DeDobbelaer, the current team owner, that in order to protect the integrity of the process, the investigation was to be kept confidential and he was not to speak with players or others concerning the subject matter.
The investigator interviewed approximately 15 former players, coaches, staff and team officials over a period of several months.
The league has received the report of the investigator. This report confirmed:
•Violations of the Maltreatment, Bullying and Harassment Protection and Prevention Policy and the Code of Conduct,
• IceDog players Rosenzweig and Cato participated in serious violations of the Player Maltreatment Policy and have violated the OHL Code of Conduct including but not limited to Physical Maltreatment and Aiding and Abetting respectively, and
•Despite being instructed to maintain the confidentiality of the investigation, team Governor, Owner and General Manager Darren DeDobbelaer violated the confidentiality directive of the League.
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