Former Bull­dog sus­pended by USHL

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - TERI PECOSKIE tpecoskie@thes­pec.com 905-526-3368 | @Te­ri­atTheSpec

A tu­mul­tuous sea­son has come to an abrupt end for a former Hamil­ton Bull­dogs de­fence­man.

The United States Hockey League has sus­pended On­drej Kachyna in­def­i­nitely while it in­ves­ti­gates re­ports that he signed a pro­fes­sional con­tract with a team in his na­tive Czech Republic while play­ing for the Chicago Steel — a breach of USHL rules.

The 19-year-old started the cam­paign with the Bull­dogs but left in late De­cem­ber frus­trated with his lack of ice time. He was picked up by the Steel a month later.

The USHL first an­nounced its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Kachyna’s sta­tus May 12, just as Chicago was about to face the Sioux City Mus­ke­teers in the open­ing game of the Clark Cup — the cham­pi­onship for ju­nior hockey in the U.S. Lit­tle has changed since. Ac­cord­ing to Steel spokesper­son Rob San­der­son, the mat­ter is still un­der re­view and Kachyna was not ex­pected to re­turn to the lineup for Game 5 of the series Tues­day. He also directed The Spec­ta­tor an of­fi­cial state­ment in which the team said no pro­fes­sional con­tract had been ex­e­cuted to the best of its knowl­edge.

Kachyna, how­ever, con­firmed he had signed a deal that would take him home next sea­son. An agree­ment with Ceske Bude­jovice, a team in the sec­ond-level WSM Liga, has also been widely re­ported on­line by Czech-lan­guage news out­lets.

USHL rules state that a player can’t be un­der a pro­fes­sional con­tract (that is, a guar­an­tee or prom­ise of money) of any kind and play in the league at the same time. That dif­fers from the On­tario Hockey League, where play­ers are per­mit­ted to sign, for in­stance, en­try level con­tracts with NHL clubs.

If he is un­der a pro­fes­sional con­tract, it can af­fect his am­a­teur sta­tus with the NCAA — as well as that of his team­mates and op­po­nents.

The Bull­dogs placed Kachyna on waivers in early Jan­uary af­ter he failed to re­turn to Hamil­ton from the Czech Republic af­ter the On­tario Hockey League’s hol­i­day break. Be­fore leav­ing for home, the big, mo­bile blue­liner said he only planned to come back to Canada if he was claimed by another team or traded.

“It’s hard,” he said at the time. “I came here to play hockey and I just warm the bench.”

Prior to leav­ing, the 6-foot-3, 201-pound left shot was a healthy scratch in all but 13 games in his sec­ond OHL sea­son. In Chicago, he was like­wise in and out of the lineup, reg­is­ter­ing two as­sists and a plus-mi­nus rat­ing of mi­nus-7 in 12 games. He also suited up eight times in the play­offs.

JOHN RENNISON, THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

Former Hamil­ton Bull­dog, On­drej Kachyna.

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