Brind’Amour fined $25K for criticizing officials

Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour was fined $25,000 by the NHL after he criticized the officiating in Wednesday’s 4-3 double-overtime loss to the Boston Bruins in Toronto.

In a statement, the league also assessed a conditional fine of $25,000 to Brind’Amour “which will be collected, in addition to any subsequent discipline, in the event of similar inappropriate behavior through Aug. 12, 2021.”

Brind’Amour took umbrage to Charlie Coyle‘s goal in the second period, arguing there was an illegal hand pass preceding it. The officials ruled Canes goalie Petr Mrazek controlled the puck, which negated the hand pass. The referees, however, did not blow a whistle when Mrazek appeared to freeze the puck.

Mrazek then lost control of the puck, and Coyle had a wide open net in which to shoot.

Brind’Amour was not asked about the incident in his postgame Zoom conference, so he called local beat writers afterward to vent.

“This is why the league’s a joke, in my opinion, on these things,” Brind’Amour told The News & Observer. “That one is a crime scene.”

Brind’Amour said referees Chris Lee and Francis Charron did not give him any information about the call on the ice, which left him a choice: challenge the hand pass or challenge the missed stoppage.

Brind’Amour chose wrong, and it cost the Canes a goal.

“They came to me, and I said, ‘If he has possession of it, then it’s goalie interference. If he doesn’t have possession, then it’s a hand pass. It’s one of the two. I don’t know what you’re calling on the ice,'” Brind’Amour told The News & Observer of what he said to the officials. “All he has to do is tell me, ‘We’re calling it non-possession [by Mrazek],’ then we’re challenging a glove-hand pass. If it’s possession, then goaltender interference. I said, ‘Tell me the call on the ice.’ They wouldn’t do it when I said, ‘What is the call?’ So I had to flip a coin.”

Brind’Amour said he asked the referees what they called on the ice, and he said the referees responded only that he had to “call one or the other.”

“It should be so easy,” Brind’Amour said. “If they said the goalie had it, then it’s an easy call. They wouldn’t tell you. It makes no sense. I know we weren’t the better team, but if that goal doesn’t go in, do we win that game? I don’t know.”

Patrice Bergeron scored in the second overtime to give Boston a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 2 is Thursday.

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