Updated: May 20, 2014 6:14AM
ST. LOUIS — The NHL fined Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville $25,000 for grabbing his crotch while arguing for a penalty in the second overtime of the 4-3 Game 1 loss to the Blues on Thursday.
The league termed it “inappropriate conduct.”
Quenneville was upset that a delay-of-game penalty wasn’t called on the Blues, which would have given the Hawks a 5-on-3 power play. He apologized for the gesture Friday, before hearing from the league.
“Disappointed with the call, but I apologize for my behavior,” Quenneville said. “It wasn’t very appropriate at all. It was a bush-league move on my part.”
Quenneville often is animated on the bench, particularly when a call (or non-call) doesn’t go his way. Patrick Sharp said that intensity fuels the team.
“I saw the highlight of it, I was on the ice when it happened,” Sharp said. “But Joel’s a passionate coach and he’s intense on the bench. We certainly feel that as players. I think sometimes he wants to gets his skates on and play with us. He’s got the fire behind the bench that really filters through the team and makes us play that much better.”
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock held his tongue when asked about the gesture.
“Yes, I saw what Joel did — I’m not commenting on what Joel did,” Hitchcock said, laughing. “I saw it, but I’m not commenting. It would be inappropriate.”