Four Moose Jaw Warrior players suspended for the balance of the WHL season

WHL investigation complete

A month-long independent investigation into the conduct of four members of the Western Hockey League's Moose Jaw Warriors has been complete.

The players involved missed a Feb 8 game against Edmonton before the league announced Feb. 11 they had been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules and the leagues standard of conduct policies.

They have already missed 10 games as a result.

As a result of the findings from the investigation, the league has imposed the following sanctions:

  • All four Moose Jaw Warriors players involved in the off-ice incident – Connor Ungar, Max Wanner, Lynden Lakovic, and Marek Howell – have been suspended for the balance of the WHL regular season
  • Moose Jaw Warriors general manager Jason Ripplinger and head coach Mark O’Leary have been suspended for five (5) WHL Regular Season games, effective immediately
  • The Moose Jaw Warriors Hockey Club has been fined $25,000.

Ungar is 21, Wanner turns 20 on Sunday while Howell and Lakovic, who both have ties to the Central Okanagan, are 16.

Lakovic is from Kelowna while Howell is the son of former West Kelowna Warriors head coach Mark Howell.

The league stressed the incident in question was an off-ice incident during a road trip in Edmonton in early February.

"Though the conduct of the players was not found to be criminal in nature, the conduct was determined to be a violation of team and league rules including the WHL standard of conduct policies as outlined in the WHL personal conduct policy.

The league's standard of conduct policies all employees are required to adhere to include racial or derogatory comments, bullying, harassment and hazing, social media and networking personal conduct and diversity and inclusion.

In order to be reinstated, each of the four players will be required to complete further personal conduct and respect training.

Management suspensions were issued for failing to "provide the proper oversight and supervision required to ensure a safe and positive environment for players, in particular while travelling."

The suspensions, which will amount to at least 17 games, are the longest handed out by the league in the last 10 years according to league disciplinary records dating back to the 2013-2014 season.

The league says it will not comment further out of respect for the privacy of all parties involved.

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