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Report: Some coaches upset over Rolston ‘player selection’ fine

Sep 26, 2013, 9:56 AM EDT


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.

  1. hockey412 - Sep 26, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    I agree it’s a dangerous precedent to set. But in this case Buffalo (in my opinion) was clearly in the wrong, yet it was Toronto that had two of it’s players suspended. Some type of review of Buffalo’s conduct had to be made.

    I think the term “player selection” is crap, though – especially when Toronto had last change. The fine should have been for team misconduct. If they leave out player selection, a lot of these complaints go away, and a lot of bad precedent goes away.

    • dueman - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:59 AM

      The fine was for “player selection and team conduct,” but a lot of media outlets are dropping the “and team misconduct” part from their report in order to cause more crap. Kudos to Dadoun for using the proper term under which Rolston was fined. The message the league sent is a pretty simple one – Don’t allow your super heavy weight to target your opposition’s star players! – This isn’t brain surgery.

      How long do you think the league would tolerate fighting if it suddenly became okay for coaches to just send out their tough guy to take care of the opponents star? Say Buffalo ends up making the playoffs, but their opponent in the first round is the Penguins. Now being out gunned, Rolston thinks “well, I got away with it against Toronto,” so he decides to send Scott out to target Sid. One punch from Scott on Sid, considering his previous broken jaw, and concussion issues, would more than likely take him out of the playoffs. Is that what everybody wants the game to turn into? I know I don’t!

      It’s also not Carlyle’s fault for putting his top line out there. Just because Scott is on the ice doesn’t mean he has the green light to go after who ever is lined up across from him at the faceoff. Especially when the reason Scott was put on the ice by Rolston was because a Buffalo player picked a fight and lost. Just because Rolston wanted to stop playing hockey and fight instead doesn’t mean that Carlyle is obligated to do the same.

      The league has to protect it’s product, and that is why Rolston was fined, and the other coaches know this. So I find it pretty funny that any coaches would be yapping about it. Then again, the original story is from a Sun Media paper, quoting a faceless press agency, that in turn is quoting anonymous sources. So take what you want from it.

      • hockey412 - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:02 PM

        I agree with everything you said.

      • dku5 - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:22 PM

        “How long do you think the league would tolerate fighting if it suddenly became okay for coaches to just send out their tough guy to take care of the opponents star?”

        In the case, the opposite happened, where Toronto sent out their star player to play against their tough guy. Unless you want to have differnt rules for different players, this should not be ok.

        IN the same playoff scenerio, Buffalo sends out Scott on his shift. Bsylma sees this and he sends out Crosby. Pens drew a penatly and fines for Buffalo before the puck drops.

        That is what hockey is becoming.

      • dueman - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        @dku5 – Toronto sent Kessel out to play hockey. Are you slow or something?

      • davebabychreturns - Sep 26, 2013 at 1:53 PM

        Just another step away from transparency and accountability for the NHL.

        Rolston gets a fine for leaving the same players on the ice after a fight, and one of them failing to know his rightful place which is to be a sideshow goon and only ever go after other sideshow goons.

        There’s no rule about this anywhere, people are just supposed to know and obey and the league has shown us all that they expect this so firmly that they will punish those who don’t.

        This is obviously different from the wheel of justice stuff we see with player suspensions but in principle it just serves to further contribute to a game where nobody can say for sure what is wrong and what is not.

        Not that I was under any illusions prior to this but it’s just been another occasion for the league to show they completely lack integrity – they won’t do anything to legislate talentless goons like Scott out of the game but they sure as hell don’t want them to see themselves as being on the same footing as skill players like Kessel.

      • dku5 - Sep 26, 2013 at 2:13 PM

        Dueman, you did not answer my question. Are you illiterate? Is this too complicated for you? Are the words too big? Do you need to be treated like a fourth grader? Am I overestimating your education? Let me try to dumb it down for the peons such as yourself.

        The Sabres put Scott on the ice. The Leafs put Kessel on the ice. Was Scott put on the ice to go in anticipation of Toronto putting Kessel out there? (I used a big word for you, but it is a common word you would have learned if you stayed in school past the 7th grade. Use a dictionary and lean.)

        The Sabres could not take Scott off the ice after Toronto put Kessel on the ice. It is called a RULE, and there is an entire book full of them. Have someone read it to you some day.

        Toronto does not have the authority to tell the officials that the Sabres are not allowed to put Scott on the ice because they want to put Kessel on the ice at teh same time. This is what is called stupid. Are you related to Betman?

      • dueman - Sep 26, 2013 at 5:31 PM

        Wow dude, you really are simple aren’t you! There is just one teeny weeny little thing that you overlooked in your moronic rant about me not answering your question…and that is that you NEVER asked me a bloody question, you moron!

        I will though answer the one that you DID ask in your idiotic rant -“Was Scott put on the ice to go in anticipation of Toronto putting Kessel out there?” – No they didn’t, but that didn’t stop Scott from doing the idiotic thing that he did either. Also since Scott was yelling and screaming at the Toronto bench after the fight between Tropp and Devane, I think that Rolston was well aware what he had on his mind and should have pulled him off until he got his head back on straight.

        Now just in case you missed it, you idiot, I did not ask you a question. Have a nice day :)

      • micklethepickle - Sep 26, 2013 at 5:43 PM

        I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with you as well. If I understand your argument correctly…

        1) It’s good for the NHL to have super stars on the ice and not injured reserve,
        2) The league justifiably punished the Sabres for allowing John Scott drop the gloves with Kessel (regardless of whether Kessel wanted to fight or not)

        If that’s the position you take, then it sounds like you’re in favor of just eliminating fighting from hockey altogether. If that is true, then ignore everything I say from here on out, because hockey is a reality in the game, and our disagreement is a fairly fundamental one.

        But if you accept fighting as acceptable in the NHL (or at the minimum, normalized), then the Sabres did absolutely nothing wrong. What exactly is the *rule* preventing Scott from engaging with Kessel – Kessel who, by the way, could have turtled any point and gotten ref protection – but allowing him to square off, with, say, Clarkson? Because if fighting is tolerated, then there’s no reason why any player should be ‘exempt’ from fighting, unless a teammate jumps in for them. The other comments about the Toronto coach’s culpability are dead on. Any time a player is on the ice, there is a potential that player could become involved in a fight… teeing off with two-handed chops using a weapon (Kessel’s reaction) should have been much more heavily punished, and Buffalo shouldn’t have faced any repercussions beyond engaging in a line brawl (if there is any punishment for that?).

        Caps fan, by the way, so just calling it like I see it.

      • dueman - Sep 26, 2013 at 6:13 PM

        I’m all for fighting in hockey, and if Kessel did something to Scott in the flow of the game and deserved to have Scott attack him then I wouldn’t think anything of it. That is not what happened here though is it? Scott has already admitted that the only reason he did what he did was that he was mad that his teammate got knocked out. Kessel did nothing to deserve to be in that situation. The league is not going to let this kind of situation go unpunished. Personally I think that if Scott would have waited till Devane got out of the box, all of this mess would have been avoided.

    • dueman - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:04 PM

      @hockey412 – My comment was meant to be a comment and not a reply. I agree with your comment.

    • joey4id - Sep 26, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      Has nothing to do with who has last change. The rule is in the book. Rule 70.2
      A player or players who have entered the game on a legal line change during a stoppage of play, who line up in preparation for the ensuing face-off, and who participate in an altercation shall be penalized under the appropriate rule and will be subject to discipline in accordance with Rule 28 – Supplementary Discipline (a game misconduct is not automatic in this situation unless provided for as a result of his actions in the altercation).

      28.1 Supplementary Discipline – In addition to the automatic fines and suspensions imposed under these rules, the Commissioner may, at his discretion, investigate any incident that occurs in connection with any Pre-season, Exhibition, League or Playoff game and may assess additional fines and/or suspensions for any offense committed during the course of a game or any aftermath thereof by a player, goalkeeper, Trainer, Manager, Coach or non-playing Club personnel or Club executive, whether or not such offense has been penalized by the Referee.

      • dku5 - Sep 26, 2013 at 4:13 PM

        Joey..Those are rules about conduct once you are on the ice. You can argue that Scott should not have fought Kessel, but that is not the topic of this article. (Personally, I agree. He should have harassed Kessel, but Scott is an enforcer and not an agitator.)

        The article is about Rolston “putting” Scott on the ice OPPOSITE Kessel. This did not happen, as Kessel was not on the ice when the Sabres made their line change. Scott was out there first, and Toronto lined up Kessel opposite Scott KNOWING that Scott was looking to fight. Rolston could not take Scott back (It is under Line Changes). It is a Bench Minor – Delay of Game for the visiting team to change after the home team has set for the face off, save for icing calls. Thus saying Rolston is guilty of putting Scott oppostite Kessel is wrong.

      • joey4id - Sep 26, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        dku5, this article is about coaches being upset with the fine over player selection. My only point is that according to the rule, the league is within it’s powers to assess a fine. Not so much that I agree or this agree. Remember that the NHL initially said the fine was for “player selection and team conduct”. It doesn’t matter who is lined up against who. Rolston was fined because of how the Sabre player conducted himself.

        “a player who has entered the game on a legal line change during a stoppage of play, who line up in preparation for the ensuing face-off, and who participate in an altercation shall be penalized ” and “subject to discipline under rule 28”. I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me the coaches who are upset need to understand the rule. And, if they disagree with the interpolation or the rule itself they need to bring it up with their board member.

      • dku5 - Sep 26, 2013 at 5:34 PM

        OK, I see where your confusion is. There is two part of the fine:

        Player Selection: Rolston put Scott out there, and
        Player Conduct: Scott fought Kessel (and almost everyon else).

        No one is against the player conduct part of the fine, your rule ties in with that part. It can be debated on when is a player responsible, but I am not arguing that today. Scott started the fight and the fine for that was just. This is where your rule is important as when the fight occured is part of conduct.

        The Player Selection part of the fine is in the title of the article. It is what the coach mentioned when he discussed who he can put on the ice. THis has nothing to do with fights or when they start, but it does have to do with who is lined up against who.

      • cpmach1969 - Sep 26, 2013 at 9:42 PM

        The rule shows why there is a problem with the fine. John Scott did not enter the game on a legal line change. He was already on the ice.

      • joey4id - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:10 PM

        I hear what you’re saying. Were all 5 players who were set to take the face off already on the ice? Meaning if there is a stoppage, and you only replace one player, then that is considered a line change. Now one can argue that the rule should be worded differently.

  2. dennyphd - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    hockey 412 – how is it Buffalo’s fault? The players that were suspended violated league rules (leaving the bench to join a fight and slashing your stick at an opponent as a weapon). They made the choice to break a rule. Rolston did not put Scott on the ice, he left him there from the previous shift. Sounds like it is OK for a bigger Leaf to fight a smaller Sabre, but when it goes the opposite direction people get upset. Kessel slashed another player in his previous game as well. Fighting is part of the game. Slashing and leaving the bench have consequences. Not that missing 3 pre season games is much of a punishment. Shanahan is an idiot.

    • hockey412 - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      The smaller Sabre initiated that fight…so yeah, it was ok. The smaller Toronto player did not. So in that situation a Sabre initiated a fight and lost. So then another Sabre, a bigger Sabre, was left on the ice for the sole purpose of starting another fight. I can’t see anyone disagreeing with that, right? You can make all the bullsh*t excuses about “he was just finishing his shift” you want, underneatht that everyone KNOWS what was going on. He was mouthing at the bench, Rolston knew what he was doing.

      In this case, the people left on the ice attacked a skill player who was not on the ice to fight.

      So, Buffalo starts two fights, and you say it’s not their fault? Fighting is a part of the game. So is winning. Once Buffalo figures out how to do both at the same time, meaning putting players on the ice that are there to win, not just fight, I might not see it as their fault.

      • krebsy34 - Sep 26, 2013 at 4:32 PM

        and I’m sure you are a Toronto fan, talking about winning. Tell me more about how to avoid monumental collapses in game 7’s.

      • hockey412 - Sep 27, 2013 at 7:52 AM

        I am certainly not a Toronto fan. Just a hockey fan in general, embarassed for the sport over what Buffalo pulled in that game. Would hate to see it continue, just as the league would hate to see it continue.

      • cpmach1969 - Sep 26, 2013 at 9:45 PM

        The issue with the Tropp fight was Devane’s forearm causing Tropp’s head to hit the ice harder than it would have.That was a cheap play.

    • hockey412 - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:46 AM

      And while I know that we are talking about hockey and everything is oh so cool to watch on the ice, let’s not forget that in REAL LIFE, if that happened in an alleyway, Scott would be wrong, and Kessel could have shot him in the face and it would have been ok (self-defense).

      I know that’s an extreme example, sure….but to hear all these opinions like yours, it makes it sound like reality plays no part in sports, and that the REALITY of the situation, which is what the league was trying to review, doesn’t matter.

      I agree with the league. Reality matters.

      • dennyphd - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:54 AM

        I agree that Scott was most likely left there to send a message, but Toronto had the opportunity to put out a 4th line and chose not to. Also, sports and real life do not often cross paths. My point about it not being their fault was when the player left the bench to join in. Fights typically occur with those already on the ice for 30 seconds and then we move on. Clarkson leaving the bench was of his own doing. Great teammate support, but by doing so, he knew he would have to pay the price for it (which is a huge deterrent for most players). If a few other sabres would step up from time to time, we would not need to waste a roster spot on Scott to get 5 minutes a night (when he is not scratched).

      • hockey412 - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:00 PM

        Completely agree that Clarkson should have got the 10 games. But listen, there is NO code or rule in hockey that says a team gets to hire the biggest goon available AND they get to dictate when fights occur. So just because Scott was out there does NOT mean Buffalo is correct and Toronto needs to put out some fourth line goon to fight him. That’s RIDICULOUS and should not be a part of the game. What if Toronto didn’t have anyone they wanted getting concussed and losing for the season? Scott was just basically a huge, old goon and wanted to rip some the head off some poor fourth line AHL kid just trying to make the league, then decided a skill player was good enough. Nah – defending Scott’s actions, Buffalo’s actions, is just shameful in this case.

      • dku5 - Sep 26, 2013 at 3:32 PM

        Hockey412 – Since you are making things up in your REAL LIFE, Scott – an enforcer, a role also defined as policing the game – would be comparable to a cop. Shooting a cop in the face is not ok. Kessel would be facing the death penalty.

        Please sober up before you post nonsense.

        BTW, in your makebelieve world, are Rolston and Carlyle parents? Are the parents financially responsible for their 31 year old son? If Rolston is simply a boss, is a boss responsible for what a 31 year old employee does off the job? Why is Kessel bringing a gun to a hockey game? Is Bettman Papa Smurf or Gargamel?

        At this point, a message woudl pop up: “Don’t use drugs; stay in school.” With you it is not going to make a difference.

      • hockey412 - Sep 26, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        I have no idea what you are talking about…really. So you truly believe that the coach was fined for NOTHING, huh??

    • dueman - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:39 PM

      @dennyphd – Who ever said that it’s Buffalo’s fault that Clarkson, and Kessel were suspended?

      • dennyphd - Sep 26, 2013 at 1:16 PM

        The initial comment stated that it was Buffalo’s fault (“clearly in the wrong”) and yet 2 Toronto players were suspended. My point was that the Toronto players acted on their own free will. I appreciate all of the back and forth. It would be better if we were all at a bar as that is where the good debates take place. I agree that a goon should not target the star players, but unfortunately it happens (Chris Neal on Drury, Lucic on Miller…). I love physical play that is within the rules and not cheap shots as much as anyone. I am curious to see the 1st match up between these teams as there is a huge rivalry already in place.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 26, 2013 at 1:41 PM

        It kind of is Buffalo’s fault. If Scott doesn’t try to jump Kessel, Kessel doesn’t slash him and get suspended, Clarkson doesn’t jump off the bench and get suspended. Rolston also doesn’t get fined.

        The saddest part about the whole brawl is that the guy who started it got nothing. Scott walked away scott free (pardon the pun).

      • davebabychreturns - Sep 26, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        What rule did Scott break?

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 26, 2013 at 5:07 PM

        The NHL is too dumb to have a rule for what Scott did, so they punished everyone but him… Just because he wasn’t suspended doesn’t mean he didn’t start the brawl by trying to jump Kessel. Kessel wasn’t out there hunting ankles, Clarkson didn’t jump off the bench to confront Scott for no reason. If Scott had a brain in his head, none of this happens.

        Scott didn’t break any NHL rules, but he broke the enforcer code. Now he will have to deal with Colton Orr or Frazer McLaren next time the two teams meet. (assuming Buffalo’s coach is still bush league enough to keep dressing John Scott by November)

      • janoon2013 - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:59 PM

        Actually, what precipitated the brawl was Devane elbowing Tropp’s head to the ice, causing a concussion and drawing the ire of the Sabres. And obviously Kessel does fight because he smacked Flynn around! Dumb play by Devane. Dumb play by Kessel. Dumb play by Clarkson. Dumb play by Scott. Dumb play by Carlyle. You can’t blame Rolston because one of his players got slammed to the ice. Retribution has been a staple of hockey since the game began! That is why all the comments about the next meeting between the teams will be worth watching!

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 27, 2013 at 1:50 AM

        “You can’t blame Rolston because one of his players got slammed to the ice.”
        You can’t blame Clarkson for defending his teammates from a rampaging giant either… but the League has it’s ways of holding the wrong guys accountable. Shanahan and the league punished everyone BUT the guy who started the brawl. Which is pretty pathetic.

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 26, 2013 at 5:29 PM

      “Rolston did not put Scott on the ice, he left him there from the previous shift.”
      Still the coaches call.

      My question is why did Scott wuss out when Devane was right there. If Scott wanted a fair fight, by let Tropp take the hit? Funny listening to Sabres fans brag about how “tough” this Scott guy is, yet he’d rather go after Kessel than Devane.

      Thanks to Scott being a useless goon, Tropp got destroyed by Devane, Bryan Flynn got bloodied up by Kessel, and Miller got smacked around by Bernier. John Scott, truly the kind of goon who has his teammates best interests in mind. LOL

      • dueman - Sep 26, 2013 at 5:44 PM

        lol, how true, except you can’t blame Scott for what happened to Tropp as Tropp picked that fight all by himself, but the rest you are right on the money.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 26, 2013 at 7:41 PM

        I know it’s not Scott’s fault Tropp bit off more than he could chew, but it’s safe to assume a 6’8 guy has a pretty good view of who’s on the ice. He should have seen the size difference between Devane and Tropp and had the chance to step in, but didn’t.

        If Scott would have manned up then, at least three of his teammates (those guys he’s paid to protect as an enforcer) would have avoided getting their butts handed to them.

        One thing is for sure, the home and home against Buffalo in November is must-see tv.

    • micklethepickle - Sep 26, 2013 at 5:48 PM

      So Zdeno Chara can never engage in a fight then? John Scott is certainly out, but Chara is also bigger than 99.9% of the league. Do you see how dumb it is to say “Players can only fight opposing players of the same size/role”? Any player on the ice always has the possibility of being engaged for a fight. They can decline (by turtling) and be protected by the officials. It happens all the time. Kessel decided to run and, when he was able, swing a freaking *weapon* at a defenseless opponent. Should’ve been a lot longer than just the preseason he’s gone for. Sabres didn’t do anything wrong.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:25 AM

        Not about size… Not what I said at all. It’s about what type of player they are. Colton Orr is much smaller than Scott, but everyone knows what role he plays on the team.

        If Chara was to go after Vanek, that’s a bushleague move. If he was to go after Kaleta or Ott, fair game. They’re a couple of Buffalo’s tough guys.

        When Devane (a known enforcer) lines up with Tropp (obviously not much of a fighter), John Scott could have stepped in. Players are allowed to line up where they choose before a face off. John Scott chose to be as far from Devane as possible.

        Every one knows Kessel isn’t a fighter. Sending Scott after him was bush league, whether you ‘knowledgeable’ sabres fans want to admit it or not. You obviously have no clue about the code enforcers play by. Scott crossed the line… He’ll get what he has coming to him in November when Buffalo and Toronto meet again.

  3. stakex - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    This all comes back to the league trying to run fighting out of the game. They can’t do it outright without a firestorm of blowback… but there is a clear effort in place to restrict how much fighting happens.

    I mean all Roloston did was leave Scott on the ice. That’s it. Scott felt payback was needed and went to get it. That’s hockey. Now the league is saying that coaches can’t put tough guys on the ice after something went down on the previous shift? What kind of joke is that?

    Hockey is on its way to becoming basketball on ice. They want super stars running up and down the ice scoring goals at will with defenses powerless to stop them. Can’t touch a guy with your stick anymore, hitting is being restricted more and more, and pretty soon fighting will be gone. All the things that make hockey different appear to be on the leagues chopping block. It wouldn’t shock me if NHL hockey is all but non-contact in ten years at this rate.

    • hockey412 - Sep 26, 2013 at 12:30 PM

      I don’t think this comes back to trying to run fighting out of the game at all.

      No one has a problem with the original fight between Tropp and Devane (except, ironically, some Buffalo fans, especially considering Tropp was the challenger). There have been what, a hundred fights in this preseason? No one has an issue with them. So I’m not sure where it’s about eliminating fighting.

      There’s a line not to be crossed when putting tough guys on the ice after ‘something went down’. Buffalo crossed it. That’s all.

    • joey4id - Sep 26, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      Read the rules stakex. Leaving Scott on the ice would not have been a problem if he would have at least tried to play a little hockey after the puck was dropped, or find a willing combatant. There are rules in the book that protect star players from goons or fighting players that don’t want to fight. Scott was penalized accordingly. If Kessel doesn’t hack and turtles he would not have been suspended for not fighting. Hockey is not about getting back against a superstar when you’re a goon. The code is the code and Scott broke it. It’s ok to put tough guys on the ice. Just make sure the goon dances with the goon. That’s the game as it is today. Yes! Fighting will be gone soon. And the sooner the better. I do enjoy a fight… well I used to. Now I understand the dangerous consequences of repeated head shots. So, I prefer to see the boys stay healthy on and off the ice. If I want to see grown men fight, then I’ll go watch MMA/UFC/Boxing (which I don’t because of the danger associated with repeated shots to the head). Non contact in 10 years. Don’t be stupid. You’re smarted than that. Right?

  4. cnote444 - Sep 26, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    If you read Scott’s quotes you know that he was going to fight whomever the Leafs decided to put out there. Based on his actions in between the two altercations, I’m pretty sure that Carlyle knew this as well. Having watched Scott in the past, he may have even laid an open to challenge to anyone on the Leaf bench. His role is enforcer, and at the time he felt that Devane had taken liberties on one of his teammates. He decided a response was necessary, regardless of who the message was sent through. The fact that the Leafs didn’t feel it necessary to send someone out to “answer the bell” didn’t change his mind that he a had a job to do.

    • joey4id - Sep 26, 2013 at 3:33 PM

      His job he didn’t do. You answer the bell against a goon if you’re a goon, or an enforcer if your an enforcer, or a star player if your a star player. That’s the code the boys go by. You don’t line up Scott against Kessel if you want to settle the score. Line up a Kessel like player against Kessel if you want to beat up Kessel.

      • cnote444 - Sep 26, 2013 at 6:06 PM

        Scott came out first. It was Toronto who chose to put Kessel out to line up against Scott. They had the last change.

      • joey4id - Sep 26, 2013 at 6:31 PM

        So. What’s your point and how does that justify Scott dropping his gloves to go after a player? The rule, like most rules is subject to interpretation. If a coach puts a player on the ice and that player engages an altercation, the rules indicate the league can fine the coach. In other words, the league, though they tolerate fights, don’t want coaches to put players on the ice for the sole purpose of fighting. Scott’s actions provided enough meat to the NHL to invoke rule 70.2 and 28.1. Period.

  5. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 26, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    What are coaches worried about? You don’t want that penalty? Don’t send your goons after the other teams skilled players. Easy as that.

    The penalty is called “Player selection and Team Conduct”. Sending your players to head hunt the other team’s skilled players counts as bad “Team Conduct” which will get you that penalty. The “Player selection” part isn’t necessarily the key point to that penalty.

    If it was just Scott who came after Kessel it would be easy to blame just Scott, but Brian Flynn came after Kessel once Scott failed at his attempt and was taken out of the play. It was a Buffalo team effort to take out Toronto’s best forward. Didn’t go so well for Flynn though, but that’s what you get for listening to your bush league coach’s bush league commands.

    Rolston’s fine was well earned.

    • mc321984 - Sep 26, 2013 at 2:54 PM

      If there is anything we’ve learned from this fight it’s that Lupy Nasty Philty is either 15 or has no job. He’s the only person on this we page that no matter what time of the day he will spend countless hours defending Toronto and Kessel. Get out if your parents basement and get a JOB!!

      • kaptaanamerica - Sep 26, 2013 at 3:30 PM

        I’d say due man is in the same boat.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 26, 2013 at 5:20 PM

        LOL. Yes, question my education all you want. That’s easier for you trolls to do than to come up with a cogent argument that refutes anything I said. Your diatribes are meaningless… but that’s the best people like you guys, who know nothing about hockey, can do.

        We all know you have nothing to back up anything you say. I’ll try to act shocked that a Hab fan and a Canuck fan who troll every toronto story are against the Leafs in this.

        Sorry Kessel isn’t the same level of scumbag as your hero Zack Kassian. Keep whining about it though. Question my education all you want… I know that I know more about hockey than either of you two trolls.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 26, 2013 at 5:25 PM

        @mc, what’s your excuse for spending hours attacking a team who allegedly don’t care about? Sounds like you’re the one who needs to “Get out if your parents basement and get a JOB!!”. You’ve spent as much time as dueman or I trying to convince people the NHL made a mistake by not sending that player you hate on that team you despise through the ringer. Poor troll.

      • mc321984 - Sep 26, 2013 at 10:25 PM

        I comment from time to time on issues. You sir have commented about 15 times on this post alone. Again, incessantly defending Kessel and Toronto to no end. Do you realize that no one cares or will lose sleep over you opinion? If you did, you wouldn’t spend so much energy on this.

        My comments are generally kept to a few sentences yet deemed by you as “diatribes”. I’m glad you found the thesaurus. Not sure how the few sentences above can be classified as a rant/tirade.

        3 final thoughts. No trolling for me. I have never liked Kassian. I am not from Canada.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 27, 2013 at 2:03 AM

        LOL, you needed a thesaurus to figure out what a diatribe was? Congrats on learning a new word. FYI typing a few words doesn’t take much time or energy too? Maybe if you had a job you could afford a smartphone. If someone replies to my comment, I respond. It’s called having a “conversation”. Sorry if that word is too big for you. If you had any friends, you’d know how to have one.

        Back on the actual topic, I’m not defending Kessel’s slashing at the guy… He did the crime he’s doing the time. Sorry, I’m not losing any sleep because you Leaf haters are upset his suspension didn’t overlap into the regular season. You have spent a lot of time whining about that very issue.

        And just like all your comments, it’s just drivel. “No trolling for me” Your first reply to me is right out of the troll playbook. Someone has a differing opinion? Call the dumb, question their education, don’t ever actually say anything remotely intelligent, but be as much of a douche as you can. It’s what people like you who have no clue what they’re talking about do when they can’t have a civil conversation.

        Have fun “not” trolling… Good luck!

    • dku5 - Sep 26, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      Just like Devane was put out there with Tropp. Why wasn’t Carlyle also held accountable? Kessel didn’t even get a bruise, whereas Tropp gets a broken jaw. Did vLupy drop out of school with Dueman?

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 26, 2013 at 5:12 PM

        1. Tropp picked that fight. Devane hit a Sabre in the corner the previous play and Tropp wanted to teach him a lesson. Tropp started it, Devane finished it. Don’t bight off more than you can chew.

        2. John Scott was on the ice when that fight happened. He had the chance to line up with Devane but let his much smaller teammate take the hit. What a brave HERO!!! Scott had the chance to have an even fight and turned it down.

    • micklethepickle - Sep 26, 2013 at 5:52 PM

      Uh, if you watch the video, all the Leafs were engaging with Scott (and the crowd around him), and Kessels starts chopping ankles, THEN two Sabres players turn to defend their enforcer from the super star.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 26, 2013 at 7:45 PM

        I watched the entire game. Kessel was not out there hunting ankels.

        “two Sabres players turn to defend their enforcer from the super star.”

        That is a joke right? or are you serious that poor innocent John Scott needed to be saved from wee little Phil Kessel. That supports my “Scott is the biggest wuss in the NHL” theory.

      • micklethepickle - Sep 27, 2013 at 9:49 AM

        I was refuting the point that the Sabres were targeting Kessel. And remind me again, who is the bigger wuss – the dude who was taking on half the Maple Leafs team, or the dude who was running away, but turned back and started chopping wood as soon as he faced no danger?

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:31 AM

        The bigger wuss was the guy who chickened out from fighting Devane and went after a much small non-fighter instead.

        Kessel isn’t a wuss for not fighting a guy 100 pounds heavier and a foot taller. Kessel fought the next guy Buffalo sent after him and kicked his ass.

        Scott is a chump. Sad that you Buffalo fans think he’s that amazing of a player. I guess when your team has nothing… anything seems good.

      • micklethepickle - Sep 27, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        I’m a Caps fan, not a Buffalo fan so I’m neutral in this. And correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Devane in the box for fighting Tropp? So…. how could Scott fight him? He admitted he was going to drop the gloves with whoever lined up with him. Maybe Carlisle should be fined for player selection for putting a superstar across from an enforcer?

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 27, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        You know how everyone is talking about how Rolston shouldn’t be punished because Scott was on the ice the play before?

        Well, the play before was the Tropp-Devane fight. Scott was on the ice, but let Tropp take on the much bigger Devane. Scott was there but let Tropp get creamed.

        If Scott would have been a man when he had the chance, Tropp wouldn’t have a broken jaw and concussion. Flynn wouldn’t have a bloody face after Kessel was done with him. And Miller who has a concussion history wouldn’t have been beaten up by Bernier.

        Thanks to Scott chickening out from fighting Devane, not one but three of his teammates got beat. Nice enforcer! Glad Buffalo fans are so proud of him.

  6. bbobes327 - Sep 29, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    I feel at least Carlysle shouldve put his bruisers out there considering he had the final line change.

  7. mightymouse316 - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Fining a coach for LEAVING his players on the ice is moronic. Idiot Toronto coach did not read the situation at all and gets rewarded for it instead of punished. You see the other team’s “goon” player on the ice and you send out a chicken like Kessel that proceeds to two-hand lumberjack the “goon’s” ankle when he is engaged with another player. 3 preseason games for that (which mean nothing) and a fine for a coach that essentially did nothing by leaving his players on the ice. The league is now going to HAVE TO fine every coach that puts out his goon line EVERY TIME it comes on the ice. Right? How do you not?

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