The NHL is holding Buffalo Sabres coach Ron Rolston partially responsible for a brawl that broke out during a preseason game against Toronto.
The league fined Rolston an undisclosed amount on Tuesday for ”player selection and team conduct.” The NHL determined that Rolston was partially to blame for the melee that broke out midway through the third period of Toronto’s 5-3 victory on Sunday.
In the meantime, Rolston told The Associated Press earlier in the day that forward Corey Tropp is out indefinitely while being evaluated for a possible concussion. Tropp was hurt and his head bloodied following a fight with Toronto’s Jamie Devane that eventually sparked the melee.
On the next faceoff, Sabres enforcer John Scott initiated the line-brawl when he attempted to go after Toronto forward Phil Kessel before a faceoff. That prompted a series of fights that involved all 12 players – including both goalies – and led to 211 penalty minutes and three ejections.
The Sabres had no comment. And Rolston spoke to the AP before the NHL announced it had fined the coach.
Rolston did call the brawl ”an unfortunate incident for everybody.”
As for Tropp, Rolston said the player is going to be out for ”a while.”
”We’re still in kind of the process here of going through the evaluation,” Rolston said.
Rolston added forward Marcus Foligno is day to day, but should be ready for the start of the regular season on Oct. 2, when Buffalo plays at Detroit.
Foligno was hurt against Toronto when he was checked into the boards and landed awkwardly.
The Sabres were off Tuesday, a day before they host the Columbus Blue Jackets in a preseason game.