Bad penny: The wily Jacques Demers once tossed coins on the ice to stop play. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
By John Rolfe
Chicanery is alive and well on the sidelines these days as Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Jason Kidd of the New Jersey Nets had their wallets lightened by $100,000 and $50,000 respectively–Tomlin for slyly interfering with Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones during a kick return; Kidd for purposely spilling a soda on the court in order to gain a timeout in the waning moments of a loss to the Lakers. Their despicable acts inspired Down Goes Brown blogger Sean McIndoe to offer up a few notorious examples of NHL coaches behaving badly. The most interesting was Jacques Demers of the St. Louis Blues, who copped to tossing pennies on the ice during a 1986 playoff game against Minnesota in order to give his players a breather. Demers, believe it or not, got off with only a warning from the league.
Other coaches have not been so lucky, as the NHL forced them to cough up some cake — though not nearly as much as Tomlin will surrender — usually for antics like running their mouths in an inappropriate manner or letting the rough stuff get out of hand. Here are 10 notable instances.
John Tortorella, New York Rangers
The fiery Torts has a history of throwing checks at the NHL. He was relieved of $30,000 for deeming the officiating in the 2012 Winter Classic “disgusting” and suggesting that the refs had been in cahoots with NBC in an effort to send the game into overtime. Three months later, he scribbled a one for $20,000 after impugning the character of the Penguins following a 5-2 loss. (Among his sentiments, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were “whining stars” who played for “one of the most arrogant organizations in the league.” In 2007, ripping the refs cost Tortorella $10,000, and in 2009, he was suspended for Game 6 of New York’s first round playoff series for squirting a Capitals fan with water and hitting another with the bottle after throwing it over the glass. For good measure, Torts also grabbed a stick, but was restrained by assistant coach Jim Schoenfeld, who was at the center of an infamous incident in 1988. (See below)