The New York Islanders' mass temper tantrum at Capital Centre Thursday night may have been good for the soul, but it was destructive to the pocketbook, to the total amount of $15,000.
National Hockey League President John Ziegler fined Coach Al Arbour $7,500 today and hit the club with an additional $7,500 assessment.
Arbour's fine was in accordance with Rule 67 (b), which requires a substantial fine to a club official issued a game misconduct penalty for striking an official. Arbour shoved referee Don Koharski while questioning the legality of Mike Gartner's winning goal for Washington at 21:23 of overtime.
The additional fine to the team was because Arbour, General Manager Bill Torrey and several players made public statements relating to the integrity of Koharski, other officials and the league in general. "Double standard" was the way Torrey characterized the NHL's treatment of his club and the rest of the teams.
"Rule 67 (b) requires that I impose on Coach Arbour a substantial fine for his conduct," Ziegler said. "Such has been done. It is also the responsibility of each club to make sure that all of its employes conduct themselves in a manner that does not bring discredit on the NHL. When a coach and other employes act in a manner detrimental to the NHL, the club too must bear responsibility for the actions of its employes."
Ziegler could have suspended Arbour, who shoved the referee, kicked the door of the officials' room and cursed the league's supervisor of officials, Frank Udvari.
Ziegler flew in from Toronto Friday to meet with Arbour and Torrey at La Guardia Airport. His decision was announced this afternoon.
Torrey today issued a statement that he said would constitute the Islanders' only comment: "We will review the president's decision in full and at an appropriate time will take whatever steps are proper, including the possibility of appealing before the league's board of governors."
Arbour was smiling and relaxed at the Islanders' workout this morning and politely invited Washington media to talk with his players.
"I had a friendly conversation with Mr. Ziegler yesterday and now I'm just waiting for his call," Arbour said. "It's out of my hands."
It was a big day for the league in financial terms. Besides the $15,000 levy on the Islanders -- one can only assume the club, which had no immediate comment, will pay Arbour's share -- Ziegler fined the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers $5,000 apiece for their participation in a brawl Thursday night at the Spectrum.