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Monday, January 30, 2023

Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice fined for refereeing comments

The National Hockey League announced Thursday that Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice has been fined $25,000 for comments he made about officiating. The incident happened after the Panthers lost 5-4 to the Toronto Maple Leafs on January 17.

The fine money will be donated to the NHL Foundation.

Maurice objected to some of the decisions made by arbitrators Pierre Lambert and François St-Laurent. Including a call made after a hit by Panthers defender Radko Gudas.

“I thought we had the outsized share of those (calls),” he said. « Hard to describe the call. Usually, at least, they have enough to argue, come and say ‘Yeah, stick up.’ Radko Gudas hits as clean as he can, stick to stick, body to body, they’re both going in the same direction, no problem with a guy going to the net, that’s hockey I don’t know what the heck those guys were doing tonight, but it wasn’t the Florida Panthers’ friendly game.

This is the second time that Saint-Laurent and Maurice have had tensions. In 2016, Maurice was ejected from a game after complaining that his players were getting hurt from hits and the umpires weren’t considering them penalties.

The Panthers are keeping their playoff hopes alive for now. They currently sit in fourth place in the wildcard race, four points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Following the massive trade that sent Matthew Tkachuk to Florida, both teams involved in the deal are struggling to qualify for the playoffs this year. The Calgary Flames, who tagged MacKenzie Weegar and Jonathan Huberdeau in the trade, are the second-place wildcard in the Western Conference but trail the third-place Colorado Avalanche in points percentage.

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