Four Moose Jaw Warriors players suspended since February will remain off the ice for the remainder of the Western Hockey League (WHL) regular season, a news release from the league said on Friday.
In addition, Warriors head coach Mark O’Leary and general manager (GM) Jason Ripplinger have been suspended for five games. The team has also been fined a total of $25,000.
The four players, Connor Ungar, Max Wanner, Lynden Lakovic, and Marek Howell were suspended in February after an off-ice incident while on a road trip in Edmonton.
Edmonton police told CTV News the incident was believed to be non-criminal in nature and therefore would not comment any further on the matter.
“Though the conduct of the players was not found to be criminal in nature, the conduct was determined to be a violation of team and league rules including the WHL Standard of Conduct policies, as outlined in the WHL Personal Conduct Policy,” a news release from the WHL said.
O’Leary and Ripplinger are subject to discipline because they did not provide proper oversight and supervision required to ensure a safe and positive environment for players while travelling, the league said.
The four suspended players will have to complete further personal conduct and respect training before being eligible to return to play, the WHL said.
The WHL said that out of respect for all parties involved, no further comment on the matter will be provided.
The Moose Jaw Warriors released a statement following the announcement on Friday that said the team accepts the sanctions imposed by the WHL.
“The Warriors take full responsibility for the violations of team and league rules, and cooperated fully with the WHL investigation into this matter,” the statement read.
The Warriors also said it is fully committed to learning from the incident, adding necessary steps will be taken to improve security moving forward.
“Our organization will continue to support all of our players throughout this process,” the team said.
The Warriors said it would not provide further details or comment on the matter out of respect for the privacy of the parties involved.
The Warriors are currently fourth in the eastern conference with a (36-22-0-3) record with seven games left in the regular season.