Winnipeg Coach Paul Maurice Fined $5K

Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice has been fined $5,000 for bashing NHL official Francois St. Laurent on Feb. 18 during the Jets’ 6-5 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

The incident stemmed from Maurice being displeased with two hits by Tampa Bay defenseman Anton Stralman. The latter collision injured Jets forward Bryan Little and forced him to leave the game. Little had to have x-rays on his neck.

The Winnipeg coach took offense and got ejected at the start of the third period by St. Laurent after voicing his objections to the non-call. Winnipeg was assessed a two-minute bench minor.

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Little appeared off-balance when Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman checked him before Stralman came in and made contact with the Winnipeg forward’s head, which was in a lower-than-normal position.

Maurice was also not pleased with St. Laurent laughing during the ejection. The referee’s behavior was also called out by Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler, who told the Winnipeg Free Press that officials should have to answer questions in a postgame media scrum just like players do.

Stralman was not given a penalty for that check on Little or an earlier one on Danish rookie Nikolaj Ehlers. Stralman also did not face a hearing for either hit.