On Sunday, Buffalo Sabres forward Corey Tropp got into a scrap with Toronto’s Jamie Devane. Sabres coach Ron Rolston decided to leave enforcer John Scott on the ice following the incident and Scott promptly attempted to fight Phil Kessel, triggering a full line brawl.
The league decided to fine Rolston for his “player selection and team conduct.” That hasn’t sat well with a number of his colleagues.
“So what am I supposed to do now?” an anonymous coach asked the QMI Agency. “Do I call the ref over and call timeout so I can call (league vice-president of hockey operations) Colie Campbell and ask him who I can put on the ice?”
The coach in question even mused with the idea of refusing to talk to the press after games in retaliation. He’s not alone in his feelings. The QMI Agency had quotes from two other anonymous coaches voicing their displeasure. One feels that the fine “crosses a line.”
For his part, Rolston was diplomatic when his fine was brought up.
“They have to make a decision on what’s best for the league,” Rolston told the Buffalo News. “Those are things we can’t control so we do what is handed down and go from there.”
Still, the ruling seems to have created waves. There’s even reportedly an effort to rally the NHL bench bosses for the purposes of questioning the NHL’s decision.
With that in mind, it will be interesting to see if this fine sets a precedence going forward.