The NHL released today that Buffalo Sabres coach Ron Rolston has been fined for “player selection and team conduct” as a result of the brawl that took place on Sunday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. There is a strong case to be made that Rolston is not the coach that should be fined.
Rolston sent out John Scott knowing that an altercation would ensue due to the feelings that surrounded the Jamie Devane fight with Corey Tropp. Scott has admitted he would have started an altercation with anyone who was put with him and that it just happened to be Phil Kessel. The fact that Kessel is the Leafs star player (I can’t believe I just wrote that) caused the altercation to escalate to the point that it did. Randy Carlyle was the last to send out his players and his choice of Kessel played a larger role in the brawl than Rolston’s choice of Scott.
Another point about this was raised on twitter by Hugh Burrill of CityNews:
— Hugh Burrill (@CityHugh) September 24, 2013
This is a good point made by Burrill. It is the coach’s choice who is put on the ice, Rolston had no idea the situation would turn out like that and neither did Carlyle. A full line brawl was not a plan executed by Rolston therefore why is he held responsible as such.
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