As thought may happen, the NHL has fined Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy $10,000 for an incident that occurred at the end of Wednesday night’s Colorado-Anaheim game, which the Avs won 6-1.
With less than seven seconds left in the game and a faceoff at center ice, Roy put his fourth line on to retaliate to what he thought was a knee by Ben Lovejoy on Nathan MacKinnon. The two players had engaged in a tussle earlier in the game, which led to the first penalty of MacKinnon’s career.
Was it a blatant knee? You be the judge:
Roy engaged with Corey Perry and then Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau after the game ended and knocked over the glass stanchion separating the two benches when he started pushing on it.
The decision to fine Roy comes less than a week after Sabres coach Ron Rolston was fined $10,000 for “player selection.” Rolston kept John Scott on the ice and Scott then attacked Toronto’s Phil Kessel, which led to a calamity.
Roy is no stranger to being fined. Last season he was handed a total of $12,000 in fines by the Quebec League for various incidents as coach of the Quebec Remparts.
Here’s the NHL’s Colin Campbell on why the league fined Roy:
"Roy's actions at the conclusion of the game were irresponsible. One of the responsibilities of an NHL coach is to help diffuse volatile situations on the bench."
The game had been rather bland and the sudden mood change at the end was caused only by Roy’s decision, so you can understand the fine.
Boudreau called Roy’s actions “bush league” and St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock chimed in today to say that kind of action has “no place” in the NHL, calling it a junior move.
But are Roy’s actions any more bush league, unwelcome or irresponsible than going after an 18-year-old player in his first game, just because your team came out flat? This aggression will not stand, man.
Roy is a fiery personality who will go to great lengths to protect his team and stand up for his players if he feels they’ve been wronged. And that's why he'll be a coach players want to play for.
A $10,000 fine isn’t likely to dissuade Roy from exploding again at some point this season. It’s who he is. As long as the Hall of Famer is in the league, the possibility of a flare up exists.
It sure made for good TV after what was a bit of a snooze fest and will bring more eyeballs to the screen for the next Avalanche game. Roy couldn’t get away with that every night, but a little harmless fire and character isn’t bad for the NHL every once in a while.
It was so entertaining, actually, we’ll watch it again.