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Report: NHL investigating Coyotes over alleged draft prospect violation

General view of action between the San Jose Sharks and the Arizona Coyotes during the second period of the NHL game at Gila River Arena on January 14, 2020 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The National Hockey League is reportedly investigating the Arizona Coyotes over allegations involving physical fitness testing of draft prospects, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Thursday.

In a video segment called Insider Trading, Dreger further explained his report, saying that the NHL prohibits teams from working out prospects prior to the NHL scouting combine. The Coyotes allegedly worked out draft-eligible prospects before they were allowed to.

He said that the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), which is an umbrella organization over Canadian junior hockey leagues OHL, QMJHL and WHL, emailed junior teams from those leagues and asked that “any contact be reported.”

“Now, according to sources,” Dreger said, “multiple teams have returned to say, ‘Yes, there has been contact.’ … If guilt is established […] the Arizona Coyotes could face substantial fines: $250,000 or more per incident, at the discretion of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.”

Following the news of Dreger’s report, the Coyotes later issued a statement.

We are aware of the reports. We have discussed the matter with the NHL and we will have no further comment at this time.

If the Coyotes were to face hefty fines, it’s unclear whether that would have any impact on the organization’s hockey operations, although it’s worth noting that a new owner, Alex Meruelo, took over this summer.

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