Ontario Hockey League suspends Flint Firebirds owner Rolf Nilsen

The Ontario Hockey League suspended Flint Firebirds owner Rolf Nilsen on Thursday.
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The Ontario Hockey League suspended Flint Firebirds owner Rolf Nilsen on Thursday, reports Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.

Nilsen’s appointees on the team’s recently altered management and coaching staffs were also suspended “until further notice,” according to a statement from league commissioner David Branch.

The suspensions come following Nilsen’s re-firing of head coach John Gruden and assistant Dave Karpa on Wednesday. Gruden and Karpa were both originally fired from their positions in November and then re-hired after the team’s players protested Nilsen’s firings.

“The Ontario League takes the health and well being of our players very seriously,” the league said in a statement. “The recent actions by the owner of the Flint Firebirds Rolf Nilsen and his representatives on the management team and coaching staff is of great concern as they pose a serious threat to our commitment to our players and their families.”

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The league has also required for the Firebirds organization to pay for counseling services for its players in the wake of the firings.