- Pierre LeBrun, NHL
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NEWARK, N.J. -- The NHL will not discipline players on the Phoenix Coyotes after conducting an investigation of their postgame actions and comments following their season-ending, overtime loss in the Western Conference finals, league executive vice president Colin Campbell said Wednesday night before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals.
The league was not pleased with some of what happened after Dustin Penner's overtime winner May 22, including Coyotes center Martin Hanzal skating aggressively toward a referee and making a gesture, goalie Mike Smith throwing his stick, Shane Doan's strong postgame comments and Keith Yandle's postgame comments.
Yandle suggested it was no surprise the calls didn't go his team's way given the similar colors of the refs' and Kings' uniforms.
Campbell said he interviewed all four players but ultimately decided not to proceed with any more discipline.
"I talked to all the players in question," Campbell said. "I said to Smith, 'Tossing your stick at the referee was real disrespectful.'
"I said to Doan, 'Your comments after the game were not totally correct about the officiating and what you thought.' I said, 'I didn't hear anything after the Chicago series after (Marian) Hossa got hurt and a major wasn't applied. I didn't hear anything from the Chicago Blackhawks.' I said to Doan, 'There's ups and downs in the playoffs.'
"I said to Hanzal, 'The way you went at the official after the game physically, you didn't make contact, but that was disrespectful.' I said, 'You're lucky you weren't suspended by the official for doing something like that. Even though you didn't make contact I thought it was (of) a threatening nature.'
"And I said to Yandle, 'I thought your comment about who was wearing what color was wrong. That's the integrity of the game and you're suggesting that because you didn't have an owner that you have no support?' I said, 'Not a chance. We don't care who owns the team, who doesn't own the team. And our officials don't care.'
"And they all agreed. The fact that it was a long season and the fact it was the end of the game and they lost that way. ... I said those actions were disrespectful and the results might have been different if this was in-season or in a middle of a series."
But with their season over, Campbell opted to not push it further, while still having made his point very clear in separate conversations with all four players. Doan was Campbell's last interview Tuesday.
"Doan was the most apologetic," said Campbell. "But I had to bring it full circle. And (Coyotes GM) Donny (Maloney) was very supportive."
The Coyotes were upset and emotional after their season ended just moments after Kings winger Dustin Brown crushed Coyotes defenseman Michal Rozsival with a controversial, borderline hit. There was no penalty on the play.
The NHL will not discipline players on the Phoenix Coyotes after conducting an investigation of their postgame actions and comments following their season-ending, overtime loss in the Western Conference finals, Colin Campbell said Wednesday.