The OHL has announced a $150,000 fine and two indefinite suspensions for Niagara Ice Dogs general manager Joey Burke and head coach Billy Burke following an investigation into “overall conduct.” Both men are also minority owners of the team. The league announced that the investigation revealed conduct that is “prejudicial to the welfare of the OHL” and “runs counter to the OHL’s Onside program, which emphasizes the importance of demonstrating respect for women through actions and words.”
Joey and Billy Burke will be eligible to apply for reinstatement on June 1, 2024. At that time, OHL commissioner David Branch will assess whether they have successfully completed necessary counseling and education. The investigation began after the league received transcripts of a March 6, 2022 WhatsApp conversation.
The Ice Dogs are currently in last place in the Eastern Conference with a 22-38-4 record. The team has not yet released a statement on the suspension or announced who will be taking over either position.