Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi $50,000 Poorer, NHL Remains Unquestionable

It was 0-0 during the second period of Thursday night's game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Phoenix Coyotes when Coyotes center Martin Hanzal "scored" the game's first goal with a blatant high stick.

The on-ice officials immediately called it a goal, which isn't a big problem, because at game-speed it's easy to make a mistake.

The problem came after that, when the video review team in Toronto, led by NHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy, came to the ruling that the call on the ice should stand and the goal would count.

Kings GM Dean Lombardi was understandably livid after the game, and was quoted on the Kings' website as saying, "When the guy in Toronto making the decisions on the goals, in Ottawa and the one tonight, wanted the GM's job in L.A. and was not happy about not getting it, you have to assume you are going to get those type of calls.

"However, we have put ourselves in a position where these calls have a monumental effect on our season, and we're going to have to find a way out of it ourselves."

The goal he's referring to in Ottawa was a tip by Ryan Smyth (see video), that would have tied the game with three seconds remaining.

The commentators in the video both thought it was a good goal, as did everyone on the Kings, but the video review team called it off, claiming to be a high stick making contact with the puck.

If that was a high stick, I'm not quite sure how Martin Hanzal's could possibly not be a high stick.

This afternoon, news came out that the NHL has fined Dean Lombardi $50,000 for his comments.

"There is no acceptable explanation or excuse for commentary challenging the integrity of the League's Hockey Operations Department in general or Mike Murphy, in particular," Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.

"People can disagree with a call by an official on the ice or an official ...

About the Author