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Flyers Owner, Coach Fined by NHL

May 5, 1999 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ The NHL fined Philadelphia Flyers chairman Ed Snider $50,000 and coach Roger Neilson $25,000 for criticism of league officials and officiating following the team’s playoff loss over the weekend.

The Flyers were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs by Toronto on Sunday, losing the final game 1-0 when the Maple Leafs scored on a power play in the final minute of regulation time.

Snider unleashed a furious postgame tirade against referee Terry Gregson for calling the late penalty on Philadelphia’s John LeClair.

``When the official decides a game, it’s a disgrace,″ Snider screamed. ``Everybody in the stands knows what that guy did.

``I understand I’m going to get fined, and I don’t care how much I get fined. The truth is there. Everybody in the stands knows it. Everybody in the city knows it. It’s a disgrace to the game. If Gregson can sleep tonight, God bless him.″

The fines were levied Tuesday in accordance with the league’s constitution and by-laws, which specifically prohibit public statements critical of the officials.

Neilson didn’t seem particularly upset by the fine.

``Lunch definitely isn’t on us,″ he said. ``I don’t know, I think we’re probably going to have to raise our registration (fees) at our hockey camps to try to cover this. I mean, 25-grand, wow.

``We had our say _ and we probably shouldn’t have _ and so you have to pay the penalty for it,″ he said. ``That’s the way it is.″

Asked to comment on the fines, Snider said Tuesday, ``I’ve said enough already. For right now, I have no comment.″