Niagara IceDogs owner says he has yet to see OHL sanctions report


Published May 8, 2023 at 11:52 am

Brantford's Darren DeDobbelaer, Michele DeDobbelaer and Wayne Gretzky, are the present ownership team for the Niagara IceDogs. (Photo: OHL)

While St. Catharines Mayor Mat Siscoe and CAO David Oakes are looking for some answers from the scandal-plagued Niagara IceDogs, the owner of the team says he has yet to see the actual written sanctions from the Ontario Hockey League.

On a statement on Friday (May 5), team owner, governor and general manager Darren DeDobbelaer said, “I have yet to receive a copy of the report of the OHL’s investigation and I would ask the Commissioner’s office to provide said document to me and my legal counsel for immediate review.”

“I take these allegations very seriously, so it is imperative that I be given an opportunity to review the OHL’s findings, in detail, with my legal counsel.”

It is unknown whether the OHL provided him with the written documentation of their investigation over the weekend.

DeDobbelaer also made it clear he would be appealing the OHL’s sanction. “I look forward to filing my appeal and defending my position.”

The OHL announced May 4 that two players on the Niagara IceDogs – team captain Landon Cato and goaltender Joshua Rosenzweig – had been kicked out of the league for violating the its “maltreatment, bullying and harassment prevention policy and its code of conduct.”

The OHL also suspended DeDobbelaer for two years from acting as the GM. On top of that, the IceDogs have also been fined $100,000 and will forfeit its top pick in the 2024 OHL draft.

While he had never owned an OHL team prior to the IceDogs, DeDobbelaer does own and operates the Brantford Bandits of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, as well as the Ontario Junior A Hockey League’s Brantford 99ers.

The sale of the team came last year after the IceDogs then-general manager Joey Burke and then-head coach Billy Burke were suspended in April 2022 after an investigation into a text message conversation that contained sexist and homophobic slurs. A OHL fine of $150,000 was leveled against the pair and the team.

That lead team owners Bill and Denise Burke, the parents of Joey and Billy, to announce on May 17, 2022 that they were selling the franchise.


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