Montreal Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien was unhappy that New York Rangers assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson was watching his team’s Saturday practice and asked him to leave.
Samuelsson eventually got up and left, but Rangers general manager Glen Sather and assistant coach Dan Lacroix showed up a short while after that to watch Montreal skate.
Therrien said Saturday that there was a “gentleman’s agreement” between the teams to not watch practices on non-gamedays, but Rangers bench boss Alain Vigneault denied that such an agreement had been made.
“We were treated very unfairly yesterday,” Vigneault said Sunday after his team’s Game 4 morning skate at Madison Square Garden. “There is no rule. There was no agreement between both teams. That is the exception, not the rule. I mean, I’ve been asked in the past to do this on a couple of occasions. Usually the coach calls me or the GM calls the GM. (It) never happened.”
“What happened yesterday was uncalled for. Without a doubt, my staff handled it with a lot of class, just like our team — play whistle-to-whistle, don’t get involved with the other stuff…This is the National Hockey League. That type of behavior, we’re lucky it didn’t escalate.”
For the record, there is no official NHL rule banning coaches from watching opposing teams’ practices.
Game 4 of this Eastern Conference final series is Sunday night at Madison Square Garden. New York leads the series 2-1.
To watch Therrien tell Samuelsson to leave his practice, click here.