Coyotes lose two draft picks as penalty for violation of combined tests


The Arizona Coyotes will lose two draft picks after the NHL finds the team violated combine testing policy during the 2019-20 season.

In a statement, the NHL said the Coyotes will lose their 2020 second-round pick and 2021 first-round pick. No disciplinary action will be imposed on specific people involved in the matter.

The decision to punish the Coyotes this way was made by Commissioner Gary Bettman after a hearing on August 6. At that hearing, which included testimony from representatives of the NHL and the Coyotes, the team “admitted that they had violated the policy in testing on the players eligible for the 2020 Draft before the Combine,” the statement reads. NHL.

“Although the handset control policy memoranda refer to a fine of ‘at least $ 250,000 for each violation’ of the policy, I exercise my discretion to impose the aforementioned discipline – which I consider more appropriate given the specific circumstances of this case, ”Bettman said in his ruling.

“With regard to the club personnel who participated or who could have contributed to the violation of the policy by the club, I have decided that no discipline will be imposed on these persons. While I find that some Club staff have acted at best in a grossly negligent manner, which has been acknowledged by the Club, I ultimately find that the record does not establish – to a standard I am at. feel comfortable – that these people have engaged in intentional wrongdoing, as opposed to grossly negligent behavior. ”

The NHL statutes specifically prohibit teams from performing physical testing on NHL Draft-eligible prospects prior to the annual spring rally “to ensure competitive fairness between clubs with respect to assessment and writing. prospects and to avoid subjecting prospects to repeated and repeated testing procedures. Said the NHL statement.

The power to punish a team for violating the NHL Constitution is given to Bettman in section 6.3, which includes allowing the commissioner to remove draft picks from a team “if the conduct in question affects aspects. competitive matches ”.

The Coyotes acknowledged Bettman’s decision in a statement released Wednesday.

“We were briefed today on the NHL’s decision regarding the fitness testing allegations of the draft prospects and respecting the League’s decision,” the team said. “Under new leadership, we have added deep internal controls and compliance measures to prevent this type of event from happening again in the future. We will have no further comment. ”

Reports surfaced in January that the Canadian Hockey League had filed a complaint against the Coyotes for illegal recruiting tactics and the team acknowledged the reports at the time in a brief statement.

“We are aware of the reports. We have discussed the matter with the NHL and will have no further comment at this time, ”the Coyotes said in January, according to The Republic of Arizona.

The Coyotes were already slim on high draft picks in the next two NHL Drafts before that penalty was handed down. This is in large part due to the Taylor Hall trade the team made with the New Jersey Devils last December, which saw New Jersey acquire the Coyotes’ first-round pick in 2020 as well as a conditional pick in 2021. That pick is 2021. Round three, but can be improved in round two if Hall signs a contract extension in Arizona.

Additionally, the Coyotes’ 2020 third-round pick currently belongs to the Washington Capitals, who acquired him from the Colorado Avalanche.


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