Members of the Phoenix Coyotes were unhappy with a hit late in their season-ending overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings, and the NHL is now looking into how the team voiced its displeasure, reports ESPN.com‘s Pierre LeBrun.
NHL executive vice president Colin Campbell called the team’s actions “unprofessional and unacceptable.” He did not rule out the possibility of suspensions in an interview with the The Globe and Mail ‘s David Shoalts.
Phoenix players took issue with a hit on defenseman Michal Rozsival by Kings forward Dustin Brown not long before Dustin Penner scored the winning goal for Los Angeles. The hit occurred at about the same time as a whistle for offsides, and some judged it to be a late hit. (Check out video of the hit below).
After the game, Coyotes center Martin Hanzal and others skated after the officials, goalie Mike Smith tossed his stick and Phoenix captain Shane Doan had words for Brown in the handshake line.
“If Raffi Torres gets 25 games for his hit during the play, then this guy (Brown) ought to be done forever,” Smith told reporters after the game.
Doan and defenseman Keith Yandle seemed to suggest bias in the officiating. Doan has since expressed some regret for his comments. Smith, on the other hand, recently said: “I don’t regret anything I said. It needed to be addressed.”