CALGARY - The Western Hockey League is coming down hard on the Portland Winterhawks for a series of league violations.
Winterhawks general manager and head coach Mike Johnston is suspended for the rest of the season and playoffs and the team has been fined $200,000.
The WHL says the disciplinary action is a result of a series of player benefit violations that occurred over the past four seasons.
WHL commissioner Ron Robison is also suspending the team from participating in the first five rounds of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.
The Winterhawks also forfeit their first-round selections in the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 WHL Bantam Drafts.
Should the first-round selection in 2014 not be available due to a conditional trade, Portland will surrender its second- and third-round picks in that year's draft.
There is no immediate word on whether the Winterhawks will appeal.