St. Catharines mayor, CAO want answers after latest IceDogs’ scandal


Published May 5, 2023 at 10:23 am

Niagara IceDogs team captain Landon Cato was one of two players on the team kicked out of the Ontario Hockey League.

The Niagara IceDogs have found themselves in hot water with the Ontario Hockey League for the second time in a year and St. Catharines Mayor Mat Siscoe and CAO David Oakes are looking for some answers.

The OHL announced Thursday (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 team owner, governor, and general manager Darren 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.

After last year’s issues that saw the entire Burke family – owners of the team, as well as the GM and coach – kicked out of the league, Siscoe and Oakes are looking for answers.

Both men are fully supportive of the OHL’s punishment and shocked by the allegations but are seeking more information.

“We, along with the rest of our community, are shocked by the statement issued by the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) regarding the owner of the Niagara IceDogs and two of their players,” said the pair in a joint statement.

“We fully support the actions taken by the OHL and condemn the actions of those involved that are described as “serious violations of the League’s Code of Conduct and Maltreatment, Bullying and Harassment Protection and Prevention Policy.”

However, given the unwavering support the team has received from the St. Catharines community for the past 15 years, there is also a sense of betrayal.

“The results of the OHL investigation show that the leadership of the organization and certain players have violated the trust of our community, and immediate action must be taken.”

To that end, the pair are hoping for some answers. “We have reached out to the Commissioner of the OHL asking for information and a meeting with OHL leadership, to understand the League’s position and the results of the investigation.”

As well, they want answers from the team itself. “We are also demanding a meeting with the ownership group of the team immediately to discuss this situation and to determine a path forward that will restore the trust of the community.”

The sanctions against the IceDogs were handed down after findings from an independent third-party investigation wherein investigators interviewed approximately 15 former players, coaches, staff and team officials over a period of several months.

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