Sabres coach Ron Rolston fined for ‘player selection and team conduct’ in brawl

Buffalo Sabres coach Ron Rolston has been fined by the NHL for his role in Sunday’s brawl with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The NHL said Rolston was fined for “player selection and team conduct” after putting six-foot-eight enforcer John Scott on the ice after a fight between Toronto’s Jamie Devane and Buffalo’s Corey Tropp. In its news release announcing the fine, the league said Scott “initiated an altercation” with Leafs forward Phil Kessel.

The amount of Rolston’s fine was not disclosed.

Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said Tuesday night he spoke with NHL vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan and executive vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell over the previous 24 hours.

Carlyle said he was not concerned about the precedent set by suspending a coach for putting an enforcer on the ice.

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“I think there’s things that make up that,” he said. “I think there were some comments made that there was a directive that he was going out there to do something specifically and it didn’t matter who was out there. So I think that plays a role into it.”

Because the Leafs were at home, Carlyle had the last change. He said he put Kessel’s line on the ice to diffuse the situation after Devane and Tropp fought.

A total of 211 penalty minutes were assessed from the brawl, which took place midway through the third period. Toronto right-winger David Clarkson was given a game misconduct and automatically suspended 10 regular-season games for leaving the bench to enter an altercation.

Kessel was suspended three pre-season games for slashing Scott multiple times.