Wayne Gretzky averted his first fine as a head coach, thanks to NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell.
League rules stipulate that Gretzky was to be fined $10,000 US for Shane Doan's instigator penalty late in Phoenix's 2-1 loss to Anaheim on Tuesday.
Doan, assessed instigator, fighting, misconduct and game-misconduct penalties for punching Vitaly Vishnevski in the face, was expected to receive a one-game suspension for being assessed an instigator in the final five minutes.
But Campbell reserves the right to determine on a game-to-game basis whether the rule applies.
Mindful that Doan is the captain of the Coyotes, not a goon, Campbell overruled both the fine and the suspension.
"It's something I crafted and fought for to get with the (NHL) competition committee and the general managers," Campbell said of the rule.
"The key to the whole rule was that it would be automatic - no appeal by the team. But I would review every instigator in the last five minutes to see if it would pass the litmus test.
"And that would be, is this guy a two-shift guy who was out to send a message? Was it a tough guy doing his thing and leaving his calling card?
"Obviously, when you're talking about Doan, he played the most minutes in the game, you're not sending him out to send a message. So I'm going to assess each and every one when it happens."
Doan's fight with Vishnevski was one of several incidents in the hotly-contested game.
Earlier on, Denis Gauthier of the Coyotes rattled Todd Marchant and Joffrey Lupul with borderline checks, prompting Anaheim's Todd Fedoruk to leave his skates and elbow Petr Nedved in retaliation.
"The guy jumped eight feet in the air," Gretzky said of Fedoruk, who received a three-game suspension on Wednesday.
with files from CP Online