The Windsor Spitfires, a team that’s had success at luring NCAA-committed players away from college and currently has the rights to two UND recruits, has been penalized significantly for rules violations by the Ontario Hockey League.
The OHL levied a $400,000 fine and made the club forfeit its first-round picks in the 2013, 2014 and 2016 drafts and its second-round picks in 2015 and 2017.
The Spitfires have long been rumored to be making under-the-table payments in order to get players, but no documented evidence ever came forth. Among those rumors are ones that Windsor was offering money for brothers Jordan and Nick Schmaltz to bail on their commitments to UND.
Jordan never entertained pushes from Windsor and stayed firmly committed all along. He will be a rookie this fall. Nick is still committed to UND and is expected to come in 2014.
Among NCAA-committed players that Windsor recently has attracted are Cam Fowler (Notre Dame), Jack Campbell (Michigan), Kenny Ryan (Boston College), Josh Unice (Bowling Green) and Patrick Sieloff (Miami). Fowler and Campbell were first-round NHL picks. Ryan and Sieloff were second-round NHL picks. Unice was a third-round pick.
The OHL told Yahoo Sports that their investigation took more than a year and that there were multiple infractions.
Most believe some other teams in the OHL and the QMJHL have been paying players under the table as well. We’ll see if the penalties eventually end up extending to other teams.