NHL strips Coyotes of 1st-, 2nd-round pick for violating combine testing policy

The NHL is coming down hard on the Arizona Coyotes.

The Coyotes will forfeit their 2020 second-round pick and 2021 first-round pick for violating the NHL’s combine testing policy, the league announced Wednesday. Arizona had already traded its 2020 first-round pick to the New Jersey Devils for Taylor Hall.

The Coyotes acknowledged that they had conducted physical testing on 2020 draft-eligible players prior to the combine.

“While the Combine Testing Policy Memoranda reference a fine of ‘no less than $250,000 for each violation’ of the Policy, I exercise my discretion to impose the aforementioned discipline – which I consider to be more appropriate given the specific circumstances of this case,” said Bettman, who convened a hearing on the matter on Aug. 6.

Steve Sullivan is the team’s interim general manager after John Chayka terminated his contract with the club in July.

Bettman added that no specific individuals will face punishment.

“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,” Bettman said. “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.”

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