Sheldon Keefe reacts to being fined $25,000 by the NHL

Published December 29, 2022 at 9:11
BY BEN HODGSON
In case you missed it, Sheldon Keefe received a $25,000 fine from the NHL's front office yesterday for berating referee Wes McCauley during the Leafs' 5-4 overtime victory over the Blues on Tuesday. Keefe was irate over multiple missed calls at key moments in the game.

There was a pick on Jordie Benn that lead to the game tying goal by Jordan Kyrou in the third period that really had Keefe's blood boiling and he let McCauley know it. It wasn't major, but it gave the Blues room to work in the Leafs zone and lead directly to the goal. It was extremely similar to the play that saw Justin Holl penalized and John Tavares' game tying goal in Game 7 against Tampa waved off. McCauley refereed both games.


The other missed call that drew the ire of Keefe was a blatant high stick in the dying minutes of the game. Zach-Aston-Reese required stitches to repair the damage to his face and the Leafs missed out on a 4-minute power play that would have carried over into overtime. Keefe had every right to be as angry as he was with the officials.




Asked about receiving the fine, Keefe elected to take the high road and avoid further damage to his wallet.

You get emotional in the game, you're competing just like anyone else is. But when the game's over, especially when you get the two points, I don't put too much thought or concern into any of it - Sheldon Keefe

I have to say, I find it extremely disappointing that this is the way the league has chosen to handle this. Keefe was clearly in the right and was advocating for his player. NHL coaches bark at referees constantly and yet, you very rarely see a fine unless they voice their displeasure to the media. Keefe being singled out is absolutely ridiculous and while it doesn't prove bias against the Leafs, it clearly shows that there is no favouritism for them either.

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