Tips GM silent on Portland situation

Well, it’s been an interesting 24 hours in WHL circles …

For those who may have missed it, the WHL levied unprecedented sanctions against the Portland Winterhawks on Wednesday for what it described as “player benefit violations” over the past four seasons. The league came down hard on Portland, suspending coach/general manager Mike Johnston for the remainder of the season, issuing the Winterhawks a $200,000 fine, and taking away Portland’s first five picks in next year’s bantam draft, as well as its first rounders through 2017.

The league declined to reveal any specific information about what Portland was guilty of, which is curious — don’t you think a punishment of this magnitude requires some sort of justification? However, Portland released a statement in which the team outlines what it says were the violations. The Winterhawks claim the violations included flights provided for families, paying for one-week training programs for two players, and a cell phone provided for a team captain for three seasons. If this is indeed represents the sum of Portland’s transgressions, the punishment seems harsh. But then, because of the league’s silence, we’re only getting one side of the story.

This is specifically relevant to the Silvertips because general manager Garry Davidson was part of the Winterhawks organization when these violations took place. Davidson spent four years as Portland’s director of player personnel before being hired by Everett in February to replace the dismissed Doug Soetaert.

However, Davidson today declined to comment on the situation, citing a gag order issued by the league. Davidson did say, however, that as far as he knew neither Davidson nor the Silvertips faced any consequences as a result of the WHL’s investigation, and the league did not mention Davidson in its statement.

Needless to say, this has been the water cooler talk around the league the past two days. The incomparable Gregg Drinnan has some interesting thoughts, and he’s gathered some relevant tweets (Jim Swanson’s is priceless).

Portland’s first away game since the announcement happens to be Saturday in Everett. That game already had a lot of buzz because it’s the first time former Everett prospect Seth Jones, who rejected the Tips during the offseason, will be visiting Comcast Arena. Should be quite the evening.

More in Sports

M’s bolster bullpen, add Nicasio, two others

Seattle adds Juan Nicasio in free agency and trades for Shawn Armstrong and Anthony Misiewicz.

Thiel: Since his arrival, Brown has solidified Hawks’ O-line

Seattle’s O-line has gone from disaster to competent in just a few short weeks, thanks to their new LT.

Seahawks ready Wilhoite to start at MLB for Wagner

The vet is at the center of Seattle’s preparation to stop Rams RB Todd Gurley in a pivotal NFC West matchup.

Five high schools leaving the Cascade Conference

They will form a new league — the North Sound Conference — for the 2018-19 school year

Sutter accepts invite to play in CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

Silvertips goalie Carter Hart named CHL Goaltender of the Week for the third straight week.

Wednesday’s prep results

Boys Basketball Non-conference Eastside Prep 56, Darrington 48 Boys Wrestling Northwest Conference… Continue reading

Wednesday’s prep stars of the night

Shelby Lund, G, Stanwood Lund, a sophomore, scored a game-high 24 points… Continue reading

Tough year turns ‘Lucky’ for Idaho angler

By Wayne Kruse For The Herald Gary March of Worley, Idaho, was… Continue reading

Wayne Kruse’s Pick of the Week: Winter crab

By Wayne Kruse For The Herald Just three weekends remain in the… Continue reading

Most Read