The Arizona Coyotes have been penalized, losing their 2020 second-round pick and 2021 first-round pick, after an investigation by the NHL found the organization violated the scouting combine policy.
Commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement Wednesday, opting for the forfeiture of the draft picks as opposed to imposing a fine of $250,000 or more.
“I exercise my discretion to impose the aforementioned discipline—which I consider to be more appropriate given the specific circumstances of this case,” Bettman said in a statement.
Arizona was found guilty of conducting physical tests of draft-eligible players which is prohibited “to ensure competitive fairness among clubs with respect to evaluating and drafting prospects and to avoid subjecting prospects to repeated and duplicative testing procedures.”
Assistant Steve Sullivan was elevated to the role in the interim after the team said GM John Chayka “quit” just prior to the playoffs. Chayka was GM when the NHL launched its investigation in January.
“As for the Club personnel who participated in, or may have contributed to, the Club’s violation of the Policy, I have decided that no discipline shall be imposed on these individuals,” he continued.
“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.”
The team issued a statement saying that it has “added thorough internal controls and compliance measures to prevent this type of occurrence from happening again in the future.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.