The Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Dauphin Kings have been slapped with a $2,500 fine after being accused of tampering with a former Western Hockey League player.
The WHL issued the charge on the behalf of the Prince George Cougars in the case of 19-year-old forward Daulton Siwak, who quit the team on Jan. 6, according to Hockey Manitoba executive director Peter Woods.
"I think the fine was appropriate," Woods said.
Siwak, who last played for the Cougars on Jan. 5, is under suspension until Feb. 10 when he will be officially released by Prince George and be free to join Dauphin. Siwak has not yet played a game for the Kings, who were fined after an investigation by a joint committee of members of Hockey Manitoba, the WHL and the MJHL who operate under a recruiting agreement.
"The complaint is for contacting the player without authorization," said MJHL commissioner Kim Davis, who added tampering charges are a rare occurrence in the league.
"This is the first time it’s occurred in my time, absolutely, in 11 years," he said.
While the Kings organization disagrees with the ruling, team governor Randy Daley said they will respect it, pay the fine, and move on.
"It is what it is, we will just pay the fine and there is nothing you can really do about it," Daley said. "We made our case and thought it was legitimate enough, but those things you really can’t control and move on ...
"It’s an unfortunate thing and $2,500 is a lot of money for a Junior A team ... but there’s really not much point in crying foul. We had our say."
WHL vice-president Richard Doerksen was pleased with the results of the tri-party investigation into the tampering allegation.
"I think it’s a concern for all member clubs, not only in our league but in all of hockey," Doerksen said. "We have a very good working relationship with the branches ... and when something like this occurs it needs to be dealt with and it was dealt with in a very professional fashion with Hockey Manitoba, the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and ourselves. And the sanction, Dauphin was fined for their actions, the player remains suspended until February 10th at which time he will be able to start play with Dauphin."
In his fourth year in the WHL, Siwak had nine goals and 17 points in 38 games with Prince George this season.