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Report: Investigation of Coyotes includes 20 or more alleged incidents

General view of action between the Arizona Coyotes and the Calgary Flames during the second period of the NHL game at Gila River Arena on December 10, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes organization may face $5 million in fines if found guilty of allegations involving physical fitness testing of draft prospects.

TSN’s Darren Dreger, who broke the original story on Jan. 30, tweeted Saturday that sources are saying it’s believed there are at least 20 incidents of the Arizona Coyotes fitness testing draft eligible players.

He added each violation can carry a fine of $250,000 or more and that NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and NHL lawyers are now managing the case.

Dreger explained in a video segment called Insider Trading that the NHL prohibits teams from working out prospects prior to the NHL scouting combine.

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 asking that any contact be reported, according to Dreger.

He said multiple CHL teams reportedly responded that there was contact.

The Athletic’s Craig Morgan reported this week that the Coyotes don’t believe they violated the rule. Per Morgan, a source said the Coyotes merely conducted permitted meetings with prospects and asked that the players “show up for the interviews in a T-shirt and shorts so that team staff could ‘eyeball’ their bodies.”

The Coyotes issued a statement following the news of Dreger’s original report.

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

Dreger says there is no timeline on when a decision will be reached.

If the Coyotes were to face hefty fines, it’s unclear whether that would have any impact on the organization’s hockey operations.

New owner Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo took over this summer.


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