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Kings' Dean Lombardi fined $50,000 by NHL

January 21, 2011 |  1:51 pm

Lombardi_400 Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi was fined $50,000 by the NHL on Friday for disparaging comments he made about Mike Murphy, the league’s vice president of hockey operations, following the Kings’ 2-0 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday.

Lombardi, irate after a disputed goal was reviewed by Murphy and allowed to stand, implied in comments made to the team's website that Murphy was biased against the Kings. Lombardi mentioned that  Murphy previously ruled against the Kings on a disputed goal and had sought to become the club’s general manager.

It’s difficult to put the amount of the fine into context because the league does not always announce when or how much it fines teams or team executives.

“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 news release.

“People can disagree with a call by an official on the ice or an official in the Situation Room in Toronto, but even in instances of the utmost frustration there is no justification for speaking as inappropriately and irresponsibly as Mr. Lombardi did,” Bettman added.

“Mike Murphy is a devoted caretaker of the game. His commitment to the National Hockey League, all 30 of its Clubs –- and to the game –- is beyond challenge, question or debate.

“I have spoken to Dean, who has apologized to Mike Murphy and to me and has acknowledged that his comments were wrong, inappropriate and without merit,” Bettman said.

The money goes to the NHL Foundation.

--Helene Elliott

 Photo: Dean Lombardi. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

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