According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Phoenix Coyotes will be investigated by the league for their actions following their Game 5 elimination in the Western Conference finals.
“Their actions were unprofessional and unacceptable,” NHL executive vice president Colin Campbell said.
There’s no shortage of incidents to investigate. Almost immediately after Dustin Penner’s series-clinching overtime goal, defenseman Keith Yandle and forward Martin Hanzal aggressively skated towards referee Brad Watson, yelling something I assume wasn’t a confirmation for dinner reservations.
In the handshake line, Hanzal and Shane Doan had verbal altercations with Kings captain Dustin Brown, who moments earlier had taken out Coyotes defenseman Michal Rozsival with a questionable hit.
Later, Dustin Penner claimed Antoine Vermette also got after him in the lineup as well.
Yandle then continued to share his angst in the postgame press scrum:
“It’s unfortunate, for us especially. They know we don’t have an owner. We don’t have anyone to back us up. For them, I don’t know if it’s an easy way to not make calls, not show up.
“I know they wear the same color jerseys, the refs as the Kings, but they didn’t have to play for them tonight.”
That was followed by Mike Smith putting the NHL and chief disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan in the crosshairs, saying “If Raffi Torres gets 25 games for his hit during the play then this guy (Brown) ought to be done forever.”
The NHL can’t do much in terms of punishing the Coyotes, other than levying the maximum $2,500 fine as stipulated by the CBA. But even that could take a while, as Campbell suggested in a text message to the Globe and Mail’s David Shoalts.
“Not sure,” Campbell said regarding timetable for investigation. “[It’s] tough when a player’s season is over and to co-ordinate times [for interviews].”