OHL comes down hard on IceDogs
The Ontario Hockey League came down hard on the Niagara IceDogs Thursday after investigating allegations that certain IceDog players had violated league policies including the Maltreatment, Bullying and Harassment Protection and Prevention Policy and our Code of Conduct.
IceDogs general manager Darren DeDobbelaer has been suspended for two seasons and captain Landon Cato and goaltender Joshua Rosenzweig have been banned from the league.
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.
Based on the investigation findings, the Commissioner of the League has issued the following order:
1. In relation to the 2022/2023 season, the Niagara IceDogs are hereby fined $100,000.
2. The Niagara IceDogs shall forfeit their first selection in the 2024 OHL Priority Selection draft.
3. Effective immediately, DeDobbelaer is suspended from acting as team General Manager for two seasons to June 1, 2025.
4. Rosenzweig and Cato have permanently lost the privilege to participate in the OHL.
When texted for a comment, DeDobbelaer quickly responded: “I need to ask league what I can say.”
DeDobbelaer purchased the team from former owners Bill and Denise Burke last summer. The IceDogs suffered through their worst season on the ice, finishing last in the league with 12-47-8-1 mark, the worst record in team history since the club moved to Niagara.
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