National Hockey League President John Ziegler said today that he has "not quite" determined a course of action with regard to Washington Capitals Coach Bryan Murray's second gross misconduct penalty of the season.

"I have had a discussion with Bryan and (General Manager) David (Poile) and the matter is currently under consideration by me," Ziegler said by phone from New York. "There is no time frame for announcing a decision. I find if I let some time pass, it is better for everybody."

Referee Don Koharski penalized Murray for his postgame remarks following the Capitals' 3-2 loss in Buffalo Nov. 16. Murray's first gross misconduct was assessed by referee Ron Wicks Oct. 20, when Murray shoved his way into the officials' room at Capital Centre to climax an argument after the Capitals were beaten by the New York Rangers, 6-5.

Although no official ruling was issued after the first incident, Ziegler said today that he "had a discussion with some of the people at the Capitals about how we feel concerning this type of conduct.

"In the first offense involving that kind of thing, we usually try to hear both sides, point out what types of conduct we do or don't want and hope it doesn't happen again.

"When it happens again, we deal with it in a different way."

Murray said today he had talked with Ziegler on the phone about the second incident.

"He said he wanted to ponder the thing and he said he'd probably fine us," Murray said. "I guess it's a situation where the fines kind of build into a bond. If your nose is clean, you get the money back.

"He indicated to me he was very disturbed about criticism of the officials in the press. That's one thing I try to avoid. I may be very angry with an individual, but I try not to say anything about the officials to you guys."