The Arizona Coyotes have been at the centre of some serious accusations after it was reported the team allegedly broke rules by physically testing draft-eligible players before the 2019 NHL Draft Combine. If true, the Coyotes could be facing some serious fines, as much as $250,000 per incident. However, according to a new report by The Athletic, the team is denying any wrongdoing.
When the allegations were first revealed by TSN's Darren Dreger, the team released a statement that essentially said it would have nothing else to say until a complete investigation was done. The Athletic's report says the whole thing may boil down to semantics.
"While the Coyotes did interview numerous draft-eligible prospects on that list, which is permitted, the source said they did not run any of those prospects through physical testing. Instead, they simply asked questions regarding such topics as eating habits, supplement use and workout regimens."
One would think those would be fairly standard questions while interviewing players a team was looking at adding through the draft system. However, The Athletic's report states there was some concern when players were asked to show up to the interview in a T-shirt and shorts so that team staff could “eyeball” their bodies. The Coyotes insist no measurements were taken and no physical activities were requested.
Teams were stopped from holding their own draft combines after players as young as high school age were showing up for workouts and worked into the ground while teams evaluated their performances and stamina. According to a source quoted by The Athletic "it just wasn’t fair to the kids. That’s what the combine is for.”
The Athletic states the complaint against Arizona was filed by someone connected to the NHL, but did not name the source. So far, the league has not said when it might complete its investigation.