WHL announces sanctions against Moose Jaw Warriors, including Edmonton Oilers prospect, after off-ice incident
By Zach Laing6 months ago
Edmonton Oilers prospect Max Wanner is among six members of the Western Hockey League’s Moose Jaw Warriors who are facing heavy sanctions from the league in relation to an off-ice incident.
The junior hockey world was taken by surprise when on February 13th, the WHL announced four players — Connor Ungar, Max Wanner, Lynden Lakovic, and Marek Howell — were suspended indefinitely pending an investigation into possible violations of team and league rules.
And on Friday, the WHL announced an off-ice incident that occurred while the Warriors were in Edmonton that involved the four aforementioned players, all of whom have been suspended through the remainder of the regular season. The incident prompted a probe by Edmonton Police, who deemed what occurred to not be “criminal in nature.” In order for the players to be re-instated, the league says they need to ”complete further personal conduct and respect training.”
Warriors General Manager Jason Ripplinger and Head Coach Mark O’Leary have each been suspended for five games effective immediately. Their suspensions were due to “failing to provide the proper oversight and supervision required to ensure a safe and positive environment for players, in particular, while travelling.”
The Warriors organization was also fined $25,000 for the incident.
In a statement, the league said when they were notified of the incident, they reported the matter to police in both Edmonton and Moose Jaw. An independent, third-party organization has been commissioned by the WHL to investigate the matter.
“The standard of conduct for persons associated with the WHL is considerably higher than simply complying with criminal law, the league said in a statement. “Everyone associated with the WHL or its member Clubs is expected to conduct himself or herself lawfully, ethically, and responsibly, in a manner that promotes the values upon which the WHL was founded and based.
“Individuals who fail to live up to this standard of conduct are considered to be in violation of the WHL Personal Conduct Policy and guilty of conduct detrimental to the integrity of the WHL. They are subject to discipline, regardless of whether or not the conduct results in a criminal conviction.”
Wanner, 19, was selected by the Oilers in the 7th round of the 2021 draft. He signed an entry-level contract with the Oilers back in September.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at email@example.com.
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