Report: NHL spares Gretzky from $10,000 fine

11/23/2005 - NHL Phoenix Coyotes

One of the new NHL rules stipulates that when a player receives an instigator fighting penalty in the last five minutes of a game, both the player and coach receive a $10,000 fine.

According to a report from The Canadian Press, Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky has been spared from such an offense.

Coyotes captain Shane Doan punched the Ducks' Vitaly Vishnevski toward the end of Tuesday's game between the two teams. Doan then received instigator, fighting, misconduct and game-misconduct calls.

According to the report, NHL executive vice president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell, an advocate of the new rule, decided not to fine The Great One nor to suspend Doan since Doan didn't come with a prior record of such behavior. Campbell also considers the fine on a case-to-case basis.

''It's something I crafted and fought for to get with the competition committee and the general managers,'' Campbell told The Canadian Press on Wednesday. ''The key to the whole rule was that it would be automatic, no appeal by the team, but I would review every instigator in the last five minutes to see if it would pass the litmus test.

''And that would be, is this guy a two-shift guy who was out to send a message? Was it a tough guy doing his thing and leaving his calling card? Obviously, when you're talking about Doan, he played the most minutes in the game, you're not sending him out to send a message. So I'm going to assess each and everyone when it happens.''

The Canadian Press reported that while Doan was not suspended, he still faces the possible fine.

Doan was just a minor part of a game that got heated in the waning minutes.

Anaheim's Todd Fedoruk was given a match penalty midway through the third period of Anaheim's 2-1 win when he left his skates to hit the Coyotes' Petr Nedved with a flying elbow.

The shot appeared to be in retaliation for another hit moments earlier by Phoenix defenseman Denis Gauthier against Joffrey Lupul.

"It was something that had to be addressed," Fedoruk said. "I'm not naming names but you have a guy out there with a visor on running around like he's King Kong. He's not going to back it up. If the refs aren't going to call it, then it falls on the players to take it on. There were so many high hits and late hits."

According to a report from The Sports Network of Canada, Fedoruk faces a suspension for his hit. Sources told TSN that the league scheduled a disciplinary hearing Wednesday for Fedoruk.

Lupul didn't return after he was struck but he could be back in the lineup as early as Wednesday at Dallas.

Nedved, who skated gingerly off the ice with the help of two teammates, left the game with a concussion. He will be re-evaluated Wednesday.

"First of all, it was definitely a match penalty," Gretzky said of Fedoruk's hit. "The guy jumped eight feet in the air. But we'll leave that to the National Hockey League to rectify."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.