Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was not happy with the fact the referees missed a delay-of-game call against the St. Louis Blues and made his displeasure known in a rather crude way Thursday night in Game 1. The cameras just happened to catch the apoplectic head coach grab at his crotch after the conference of officials across the ice broke with a decision that no penalty would be called.
According to multiple reports including this one from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune, the NHL is “looking into” the matter.
The NHL is looking into the gesture made by #Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville during last night's loss to the Blues. No action taken yet.— Chris Kuc (@ChrisKuc) April 18, 2014
Odds are, Quenneville at the very least gets a verbal reprimand from the league for his Michael Jackson impression. At worst, it's a hefty fine, more than likely.
As noted by Pro Hockey Talk's Mike Halford, Quenneville has been fined on two separate occasions for comments made about officials. On each occasion it was $10,000. This is a little different though.
Seeing as this happened in the heat of the moment during a game, it could be handled differently than comments critical of officiating. The NHL has done its best to protect its officials from verbal abuse and this could fall under that umbrella, however. The league also hasn't taken too kindly to gestures that may be considered sexual in nature, especially when they end up on TV.
Depending on how you rank your obscene gestures, Quenneville's probably isn't as bad as what Wisniewski did, but it seems like it should trigger some kind of disciplinary reaction from the league. Though no action has been taken yet, don't be surprised if it's a little more than a slap on the wrist.