Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan didn’t like the goaltender interference call on Pens defenseman Justin Schultz. He let the officials know it.
As play resumed for the final two minutes of the third period – with Schultz in the box and the Ottawa Senators on the power play – Sullivan continued to voice his frustration with the call.
Referee Wes McCauley had heard enough. He sent the Pens’ coach to the locker room.
Sullivan was assessed a Game Misconduct under rules 39.5 and 75.5:
Game misconduct penalties shall be assessed under this rule for the following infractions:
(ii) When a player, Coach or non-playing person uses obscene, profane or abusive language or gesture directed at any on or off-ice official or uses the name of any official coupled with any vociferous remarks, after already being assessed a bench minor penalty (39.3 (ii)), this Coach or non-playing person is to be assessed a game misconduct and the situation reported to the Commissioner for further action. When this type of conduct occurs after the expiration of the game, on or off the ice, the game misconduct shall be applied without the necessity of having been assessed a bench minor penalty previously.
No bench minor was handed out prior to the ejection.
On-ice microphones failed to catch the exchange between Sullivan and the officials. One can surmise that McCauley, one of the league’s top officials, had warned Sullivan about his comments prior to issuing the penalty.
“I was probably a little bit surprised, but it is what it is,” Sullivan told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “That’s between the refs and the coaches, and that’s where it will stay.”
As far as any fines or further action, that’s up to the Commish, per Rule 39.6:
It is the responsibility of all game officials and all club officials to send a confidential report to the Commissioner setting out the full details concerning the use of obscene gestures or language by any player, Coach or non-playing Club personnel. The Commissioner shall take such further disciplinary action as he shall deem appropriate.
No word on whether Sullivan has been contacted by the league.