Rolston fine confuses, angers anonymous NHL coaches

by Sep 26, 10:36 AM

Several anonymous coaches were contacted by QMI to discuss the "player selection and team conduct" fine the league handed out to Sabres coach Ron Rolston this week. Rolston was fined for leaving John Scott on the ice (with first change).

The consensus? Mass confusion and anger over the entire thing.

"So what am I supposed to do now? 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?"

This particular coach was upset enough about the fine that he was considering refusing in-game interviews as a protest. But think about all the useful information those in-game interviews provide the fans! 

Another coach was similarly perplexed: "What (Rolston) did was pretty much what a lot of us would have done in those circumstances. Now the league is going to tell who we can and who can’t put on the ice? I have no problem with discipline for our actions, but dictating ‘player selection’ crosses a line in my mind."

A third coach also chimed in and spoke about the pressures on coaches to adhere to "the code" and "protect" his players. "If I’m in that kind of situation and I don’t put a guy out there to protect my players, the guys on the bench are going to look at me and say to themselves, ‘what’s this guy doing?’" 

"My manager is going to ask me why I’m not protecting my players and the owner is going to ask my manager why I’m not protecting my players. The next thing you know, those guys are going to decide they are going to get somebody who is going to protect their players."

Sep 26, 9:14 AM

Rolston says NHL brawl fine sets the tone for coaches

by Sep 26, 9:14 AM

On Wednesday, Buffalo Sabres head coach Ron Rolston addressed the fine he was assessed by the league for 'player selection and team conduct' during the Bay Street melee on Sunday night. That odd, much discussed line-brawl resulted in suspensions for Maple Leafs forwards Phil Kessel and David Clarkson.

"They don’t want altercations like that and how it escalated," Rolston said, referring to the league. "They are concerned with that. They want coaches in the future to be mindful of it."

Rolston also defended his decision to play John Scott, the 6-foot-8 enforcer who attacked Phil Kessel off of a face-off, pointing out that Scott had contributed offensively in the contest and taken a regular shift. 

"[John Scott has] worked hard on his game to play hockey too," Rolston said, "But I think obviously reputation is a big part of that."

Sep 24, 4:58 PM

Ron Rolston fined for role in preseason brawl with Maple Leafs

by Sep 24, 4:58 PM

The NHL announced on Tuesday that Buffalo Sabres head coach Ron Rolston has been fined "for player selection and team conduct" in relation to events that took place in the team's preseason game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sept. 22.

Forward John Scott was on the ice for the Sabres after a fight between Corey Tropp and Jamie Devane, and according to the NHL statement, Scott then "initiated an altercation with Toronto forward Phil Kessel, whom he was lined up against on the face-off, resulting in several fights." 

The league has deemed Rolston culpable for allowing Scott to be on the ice at that time. The fine amount has not been specified.