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Portland Winterhawks investigation

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Old
11-28-2012, 09:26 PM
  #101
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Originally Posted by FytinSioux View Post
I realize kids will de-commit, because...they are kids. The are pressured to sign these commitments at young ages. I don't assume that every player that bails does it because of some behind the scenes business, but there are a few that leave me scratching my head. If two teams have been caught, there are probably more that are doing the same thing unfortunately.

It's the Muslim on an airplane syndrome, as wrong as it is.
maybe a couple more (London and SJ come to mind)...but i'd think it's the same v. small group of teams (windsor, portland, prob. london, and maybe sj) doing it.

and, again, i don't think it happens as much as people think...i think there's lemming-like behaviour involved re attracting US kids to the chl. and keep in mind, these players are all pretty young - mostly 17 or younger...and what they want more than anything on the planet is to make it to the nhl...you tell them that if you do X you'll have a 1% greater chance and they'll do it in a second. ...and once they've been drafted i'm sure many of them will do whatever their nhl team suggests.

on a slightly different note...it's interesting the chl doesn't really seem interested in the import draft...which is even more cooked than 1st round of the O draft...most of the big $ goes to the import kids (and we're not talking about free cell phones or a couple of plane tickets here).

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Old
11-28-2012, 09:52 PM
  #102
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Originally Posted by Skinnyjimmy08 View Post
BINGO!!!!... thats exactly what they did... they got these older bigger named guys for a year or 2 but promised them 4 years of schooling.... everyone just wait, all the info will slowly start coming out.
But to me that makes no sense when they were already going to college on a full ride. (I think)

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11-28-2012, 10:09 PM
  #103
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Originally Posted by S E P H View Post
But to me that makes no sense when they were already going to college on a full ride. (I think)
WHL is better for NHL development. Alot of NHL teams prefer their prospects playing major junior. So if they can get 4 years of schooling paid for and also play at a higher level, its pretty common sense to me if I were the player

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11-28-2012, 10:30 PM
  #104
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Niederreiter/Baertschi anyone?

What was Windsor get fined for again? Or was it never revealed?

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11-28-2012, 11:09 PM
  #105
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The captain getting his cell phone paid for? Brett Ponich? Seems pretty random.. but the other stuff seems like writing on the wall kind of stuff.

They got guys like Iverson, De Leo, Bittner, Hanson I'm sure all received interest from NCAA/NTDP from a young age (14/15). Those guys mentioned are all in the '94-'96 age group.

Got Cam Reid and Wrenn out of their NCAA scholarships, having two drafted guys as your overagers is a little shady.

The Swiss embassy they were running. Lots of suspicious stuff. Portland was BEYOND awful when Johnston arrived and I supposed desperate times called for desperate measures...

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11-28-2012, 11:26 PM
  #106
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Originally Posted by PensFan101 View Post
They can line up right behind the London Knights for teams who need a good old investigation. Unfortunately even if everyone agrees that payments were made at some point in time, until there's proof there's nothing anyone can do.
I'm sure Branch will investigate the Knights right after he's finished with the darlings from Owen Sound. After all, Branch goes out of his way to throw a wrench into anything Owen Sound Attack. Right?

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11-28-2012, 11:28 PM
  #107
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Originally Posted by wrister39 View Post
I'm sure Branch will investigate the Knights right after he's finished with the darlings from Owen Sound. After all, Branch goes out of his way to throw a wrench into anything Owen Sound Attack. Right?
Are they rumored to be doing the same type of thing???... cuz Portlands been rumored to this for a few years now... who will be next!!???

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11-28-2012, 11:33 PM
  #108
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Originally Posted by Skinnyjimmy08 View Post
Are they rumored to be doing the same type of thing???... cuz Portlands been rumored to this for a few years now... who will be next!!???
My post was mostly sarcastic but if you're talking about the Knights I honestly have no idea. They're considered a "big market team" like Kitchener, Windsor, Saint John, etc. So nothing would shock me

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11-28-2012, 11:35 PM
  #109
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I think Jones speculation/conspiracy theories are a dead end.

As has already been mentioned, he was never dead set on the NCAA(wasn't committed to any school, officially). His rights were owned by a subpar WHL team and he decided that if was going to go to the WHL, he was going to go to a premier organization(Portland).

For examples of this, see hundreds of chl trades involving players with serious clout(ie talent).

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Old
11-29-2012, 07:02 AM
  #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skinnyjimmy08 View Post
Are they rumored to be doing the same type of thing???... cuz Portlands been rumored to this for a few years now... who will be next!!???
yeah there have been rumours about london for a long time. i remember that there were rumours that when kane went to play there he received a sizeable cash payment.

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11-29-2012, 07:51 AM
  #111
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Originally Posted by wrister39 View Post
My post was mostly sarcastic but if you're talking about the Knights I honestly have no idea. They're considered a "big market team" like Kitchener, Windsor, Saint John, etc. So nothing would shock me
The thing about Saint John is that they, along with Halifax and somewhat Moncton are decent sized ENGLISH cities for Q teams which makes them much more favourable to American kids/families. Saint John and Halifax are also two teams that are pretty good at picking up a few kids that get passed over in Ontario. For them it isn't a hard sell for a kid that wants to play Major Junior and live in an English speaking city, but doesn't have the opportunity to play in the OHL and WHL.

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11-29-2012, 07:55 AM
  #112
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Originally Posted by Skinnyjimmy08 View Post
So word on the street is that the Portland Winterhawks are FINALLY being investigated into some fishy business going on. They used to be the garbage team of the WHL a few years ago back in the Brandon Dubinsky days and all that (roughly 5-8 years ago). Now they are constantly one of the top teams in the CHL. They constantly sign these TOP young college prospects from the USA that apparently would only play in NCAA but all of a sudden change their minds to join Portland. Rumors have spread for a few years now that they are paying their players and/or promising 4 years of schooling after their junior career even if they only play 1 season. They are loaded once again with these great young players that are 16 and 17 years old, not to mention Seth Jones out of the blue signing with Portland right after Everett traded his rights to Portland due to Jones stating he was going to play NCAA for North Dakota. Recently there was the Windsor Spitfires in the OHL that was investigated into the Jacob Trouba saga and was fined HUGE and lost quite a few picks. I have a feeling something like this is going to happen soon to Portland.


http://thepipelineshow.blogspot.ca/2...e-clipped.html
Easy fix -- have players declare their intent before the draft. Make them sign a letter of intent for College or Junior.

It really makes junior hockey less competitive and there are plenty of haves and have nots because of it. Forces other clubs to cheat as well -- if they want to compete.

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Old
11-29-2012, 09:49 AM
  #113
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Originally Posted by Daneurism View Post
I think Jones speculation/conspiracy theories are a dead end.

As has already been mentioned, he was never dead set on the NCAA(wasn't committed to any school, officially). His rights were owned by a subpar WHL team and he decided that if was going to go to the WHL, he was going to go to a premier organization(Portland).

For examples of this, see hundreds of chl trades involving players with serious clout(ie talent).
Everett, everyone else and there mother knew Jones wouldn't come to the WHL to play on a bad team. Portland took a chance knowing that they probably had one of the better chances in the league to get him. It happens all the time, just in different ways. Domi going to the Knights. Nathan MacKinnon even.

Portland released the apparent infractions.

Flights for players families that had financial need, paying for training programs for a few players, a cell phone for the Captain for three seasons.

I'm not sure I take it at face value, especially considering the severeness of the penalty. The CHL is definitely trying to make an example of them, but I can't imagine it's only for the reasons above.

Portland has had some pretty good scouting, that shouldn't be taken away from them. But some incidents that could be ones that were under investigation. Oliver Bjorkstrand is one.

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11-29-2012, 10:58 AM
  #114
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Originally Posted by TheFinnishKulemin View Post
Everett, everyone else and there mother knew Jones wouldn't come to the WHL to play on a bad team. Portland took a chance knowing that they probably had one of the better chances in the league to get him. It happens all the time, just in different ways. Domi going to the Knights. Nathan MacKinnon even.

Portland released the apparent infractions.

Flights for players families that had financial need, paying for training programs for a few players, a cell phone for the Captain for three seasons.

I'm not sure I take it at face value, especially considering the severeness of the penalty. The CHL is definitely trying to make an example of them, but I can't imagine it's only for the reasons above.

Portland has had some pretty good scouting, that shouldn't be taken away from them. But some incidents that could be ones that were under investigation. Oliver Bjorkstrand is one.

The weird thing with Jones is that TSN announced that he was going to play for Portland before he was even traded. Portland may have gotten Everett's permission to talk to him, but portland definitely didn't "take a chance"

Furthermore, this investigation only went up to last season i'm told. Thus a Jones investigation was never on the agenda to begin with.

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11-29-2012, 11:42 AM
  #115
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Rimouski has paid players under the table and gotten help in recruiting players... Some legal.

I expect a Q team to go down next, likely QC, but Rimouski, SJ, Moncton and Halifax are on that list.

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11-29-2012, 12:40 PM
  #116
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Originally Posted by IHaveNoCreativity View Post
Rimouski has paid players under the table and gotten help in recruiting players... Some legal.

I expect a Q team to go down next, likely QC, but Rimouski, SJ, Moncton and Halifax are on that list.
Not familiar with the Rimouski stuff, what are some of their "alleged" transgressions?

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11-29-2012, 01:27 PM
  #117
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SKINNYJIMMY> Where did your buddy MR.T go?

Good job on being first.

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11-29-2012, 01:33 PM
  #118
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I'm confused, the allegations against them sound like everything every team does during the CHL Import Draft every season to convince Euro's to come play here?

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11-29-2012, 02:39 PM
  #119
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SKINNYJIMMY> Where did your buddy MR.T go?

Good job on being first.
Hahahahaha!!!!

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11-29-2012, 03:34 PM
  #120
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Can't say that I'm surprised. When is this going to happen to the London Knights?

I have no proof, but it always seems like they get excellent players to sign and play for them.

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11-29-2012, 04:51 PM
  #121
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Originally Posted by oilsp1ll View Post
Not familiar with the Rimouski stuff, what are some of their "alleged" transgressions?
Money... The legal stuff was getting a favour from Crosby and VL.

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11-29-2012, 04:54 PM
  #122
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I just want the truth.

Portland has released specifics about its side of the story, but we get only this from the WHL:

"Our independent investigation in this case revealed there were multiple violations over an extended period for player benefits that are not permitted under WHL Regulations and were not disclosed to the WHL."

But why is the league so eager to end discussion of the matter? They close their statement with the following:

"The Western Hockey League will not make any further public comments on this matter."

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11-29-2012, 05:51 PM
  #123
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Originally Posted by ToursLepantoVienna View Post
I just want the truth.

Portland has released specifics about its side of the story, but we get only this from the WHL:

"Our independent investigation in this case revealed there were multiple violations over an extended period for player benefits that are not permitted under WHL Regulations and were not disclosed to the WHL."

But why is the league so eager to end discussion of the matter? They close their statement with the following:

"The Western Hockey League will not make any further public comments on this matter."
We will never get the full story. Alot of kids got some benefits that are illegal for teams to hand out. Those specifics will NEVER come out becasue it will ruin alot of kids hockey careers reputations that are still playing. Alot of different rumors will come out but thats all that it will be... speculation. Is everyone honestly thinking that the WHL will come out and state "Oh so and so recieved 4 years of schooling in exchange of joining the Winterhawks for a half a season" or "So and so recieved $50,000 to change his mind and not play NCAA even though he had signed a letter of intent". It is over, and just remember, the league wouldnt come down this unbelievably harsh for basically flying in parents 2 times a year and giving their captain a cell phone. Alot of teams do that for their players(secretly). They seriously broke alot of rules and made a mockery of the league and it has all come out now how over the past few years they have gotten these HUGE named players.

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11-29-2012, 06:34 PM
  #124
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Sven talks about this:
http://www.calgarysun.com/2012/11/29...ls-winterhawks

Quote:
Yeah, Sven Baertschi’s parents once accepted a free flight across the Atlantic Ocean to watch their son skate in the Western Hockey League.

Thing is, the Portland Winterhawks had nothing to do with it.

Baertschi, widely considered the Calgary Flames’ most exciting prospect in recent memory, paid the bill himself.

“My parents only came over once and I paid fully for that. I was able to pay for it because I was already signed with the Flames,” said Baertschi, whose family lives in Switzerland. “In Portland, I got treated the exact same way as anybody else on the team.”

On Wednesday, the WHL hammered the Winterhawks for “a series of player benefit violations,” stripping the club of their first-round picks for the next five years, suspending head coach Mike Johnston for the remainder of the season and playoffs and assessing a $200,000 fine.

While league officials have been tight-lipped about the details, the Winterhawks revealed they were punished for providing flights to Portland for family members of seven players over a span of five years, arranging a week-long summer training program for two skaters and giving their captain a cell phone for the past three campaigns.

Baertschi, who spent two winters in Portland and is now in his rookie season with the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat, said Thursday he wasn’t involved in any of the violations.

The 20-year-old left-winger added he was “shocked” when he heard news of the sanctions and feels the punishment is “a little over-the-top” for seemingly minor infractions. The WHL has made it clear the Winterhawks were not providing illegal cash payments to players or bending league scholarship rules in the recruiting process.

“It happens sometimes that you try to do something good for somebody and, in the end, you get kicked in the ass,” Baertschi said. “I think this is a good example of that. I know I’m so close to all the people (in Portland) and they’re such great people, and I’m sure they wanted to be in the rules and they want to make sure they are doing the right things.

“Mistakes happen. Sometimes, you try to do something nice and it goes the other way. This kind of looks like that right now.”

Baertschi was eligible to return to the junior ranks this winter but was instead assigned to Abbotsford, where he leads the Heat with six goals and 10 assists in 18 regular-season games. He'll be summoned to the Saddledome as soon as the lockout is over.

Although Baertschi is no longer starring in Oregon, the Winterhawks currently sit atop the WHL's U.S. Division standings. Even with Johnston banned from the bench and no first-rounders to use as chips at the trade deadline, the Swiss sniper figures his former teammates are favourites for the league title.

“It's not going to change anything,” Baertschi said. “Portland will be on top at the end of the year.”

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Old
11-29-2012, 06:46 PM
  #125
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Quote:
darenmillard Hearing from a whl official that more info to be released shortly regarding portland situation. Commish R Robison on hc@noon friday.
http://twitter.com/darenmillard/stat...12171788333056

I guess they'll be commenting further on the matter after all.

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