The Western Hockey League announced today sanctions pertaining to the Moose Jaw Warriors following the completion of an independent investigation into violations of team rules and WHL Standard of Conduct policies.

Based on the findings of the investigation, the WHL has issued 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
The four players have been suspended due to an off-ice incident while on a team road trip in Edmonton, during the month of 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.

In order to be reinstated by the WHL following the completion of their suspensions, the four Moose Jaw Warriors players will be required to complete further personal conduct and respect training.

The Moose Jaw Warriors Hockey Club, General Manager Jason Ripplinger, and Head Coach Mark O’Leary are subject to discipline on the basis of failing to provide the proper oversight and supervision required to ensure a safe and positive environment for players, in particular, while travelling.

Out of respect for the privacy of all of the parties involved, the WHL cannot provide further details on the matter.

Upon being notified of the matter, the WHL Security Network reported the matter to police authorities in Moose Jaw and Edmonton, where the incident took place. The Edmonton Police Service have confirmed that the incident is not criminal in nature. Following a preliminary review of the incident by the WHL Security Network, the WHL then commissioned an independent third-party to investigate the matter.

The WHL Security Network is responsible for assisting WHL Clubs with enforcing WHL Standard of Conduct policies and ensuring Clubs continue to deliver a safe and positive environment at all times. The WHL Security Network consists of Liaison Officers assigned to each WHL Club.

The Western Hockey League remains fully committed to continuing to provide industry-leading respect education and training through the WHL Respect in Hockey program, which is mandatory for all players and staff.

WHL Personal Conduct Policy
The standard of conduct for persons associated with the WHL is considerably higher than simply complying with criminal law. Everyone associated with the WHL or its member Clubs is expected to conduct himself or herself lawfully, ethically, and responsibly, in a manner that promotes the values upon which the WHL was founded and based.

Individuals who fail to live up to this standard of conduct are considered to be in violation of the WHL Personal Conduct Policy and guilty of conduct detrimental to the integrity of the WHL. They are subject to discipline, regardless of whether or not the conduct results in a criminal conviction.