USATSI

On Wednesday, the NHL announced the Arizona Coyotes will forfeit two draft picks for violating the NHL’s combine testing policy. Commissioner Gary Bettman decided they will forfeit their 2020 second-round pick and 2021 first-round pick.

CHL teams accused Arizona of carrying out pre-draft testing not allowed before the NHL scouting combine. They allegedly put over 20 draft-eligible prospects through a series of physical tests.

Bettman held a hearing on the matter on August 6 in order to come to the conclusion and eventual punishment. The commissioner said, “I exercise my discretion to impose the aforementioned discipline — which I consider to be more appropriate given the specific circumstances of this case.”

Bettman added, in a statement, that he did not feel this violation was caused by intentional wrongdoing.

“While I conclude that certain Club personnel acted in a grossly negligent manner at best, which was conceded by the Club, I ultimately conclude that the record does not establish — to a standard with which I am comfortable — that those individuals engaged in intentional wrongdoing, as opposed to grossly negligent behavior.”

While the rule says it could inflict a fine of “no less than $250,000 for each violation,” no fines were given out. Bettman will also not be punishing any employees who “participated in, or may have contributed to” the said violations.

At the time of the violations John Chayka was the Coyotes general manager, but he is no longer with the team, after parting ways in July for separate reasons.

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