The WHL fined and took away a number of draft picks from the Portland Winterhawks for repeated violations of player benefits rules. (IAN KUCERAK/QMI Agency)
The Western Hockey League brought the hammer down Wednesday on the Portland Winterhawks for repeated violations of player benefit rules.
Winterhawks coach/general manager Mike Johnston was banned for the remainder of the season, including playoffs, and the team fined $200,000 for what the WHL said was "a series of player benefit violations which have occurred over the past four seasons."
In addition, Portland will forfeit it's first-round picks in the WHL bantam draft for the next five seasons and won't be able to make a selection in the first five rounds of the 2013 draft.
"All WHL clubs understand they are required to fully comply and respect our league regulations or they will face significant consequences," WHL commissioner Ron Robison said.