Following allegations that certain Niagara IceDog players had violated league policies including the Maltreatment, Bullying and Harassment Protection and Prevention Policy and our Code of Conduct, two players have been banned from the league and the Ice Dog’s GM was handed a two-year suspension.
The league retained an independent third-party investigator to conduct a thorough investigation. At that time, the Commissioner advised the current team owner, Darren DeDobbelaer, that in order to protect the integrity of the process, the investigation was to be kept confidential and he was not to speak to 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,
• Niagara IceDog players Joshua Rosenzweig and Landon 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, Darren DeDobbelaer is suspended from acting as team General Manager for two seasons to June 1, 2025.
4. Niagara IceDog players Joshua Rosenzweig and Landon Cato have permanently lost the privilege to participate in the OHL.
In a statement, the league notes, “the protection of players on and off the ice is the paramount concern of the OHL. Violations of the OHL Code of Conduct or the Maltreatment Policy, most importantly, puts player safety and experience at risk and impacts the reputation of our teams, league and of the sport of hockey.”
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