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Florida Panthers coach Maurice fined $25,000 for criticizing officials

Maurice was not only critical of the fact his team was assessed seven penalties, but he also suggested it was personal.

TORONTO, ON — Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice has been fined $25,000 for comments about the officiating after a 5-4 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.

So, what did he say?

Well, Maurice was not only critical of the fact his team was assessed seven penalties - and a penalty shot against - to Toronto’s three minor penalties, he also suggested it was personal.

The referee in question is Francois St. Laurent, and here’s what he said after the game, per Scouting the Refs.

“I just explained to them, [the penalty calls] had nothing to do with my players. That had to do with me in a relationship that I have with one of the referees. That’s what that was all about, so just go out, keep your mouth shut, and play the game.”

Back in 2016, Maurice – then coach of the Winnipeg Jets – complained after two hits injured his players. St. Laurent promptly tosses Maurice from the game, an occurrence much more common in MLB than the NHL.

Maurice was fined $5,000 for that exchange.

“There were some calls that were warranted,” said Locked on Panthers host Armando Velez. “Radko Gudas had a little bit of a target on his back,” though, and constantly being on the penalty kill over the first 40 minutes hindered Florida in what was a massive game for a team outside the playoff picture.

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There was a moment late in the second period where defenseman Radko Gudas was assessed a questionable charging call that led directly to an Auston Matthews goal with 3 seconds to go before intermission. 

Maurice pointed to that “charging” call directly in his comments, adding they got an inordinate share of the calls and the refs wouldn’t offer their rationale, as they usually tend to do.

“I don’t know what the hell those guys were doing tonight, but it wasn’t Florida Panther friendly,” he added.

Maurice’s whole postgame video can be seen here.

The fine money, by the way, goes to the NHL Foundation.

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